Customers have reacted angrily to news the only lift at a post office in Hounslow will be out of action for 10 weeks.

The lift to the post office on the first floor of WHSmith, in High Street, Hounslow, broke down about three weeks ago, and customers say they have been told it will take 10 weeks to repair.

The store has apologised for the inconvenience and installed a makeshift counter at the foot of the stairs to cater for disabled shoppers and parents with buggies.

But some users, who have complained of long queues forming downstairs, say this is not good enough and the lift should be fixed much sooner.

Ray Bellisario says it is 'unacceptable' for the lift to the post office to be out of action for so long

Ray Bellisario, who uses an electric wheelchair, said: "I was told they need to wait for parts to be available for the lift, but a 10 week wait is simply unacceptable.

"When I visited there was a queue building up downstairs and it was blocking other shoppers. WHSmith is clearly trying to do its best but that is not good enough."

'They should never have put the post office upstairs'

Kate Smith, of Feltham , who finds it difficult to climb stairs, was similarly unimpressed.

"There was somebody downstairs but one person is not enough for all the OAPs and people with pushchairs and prams," said the 80-year-old.

The makeshift post office counter at WHSmith in Hounslow

"It's not the first time the lift's been out of service there.

"They never should have put the post office upstairs in the first place, and now it's there there they should maintain the lift properly so it doesn't keep breaking down."

'We apologise for any inconvenience'

A spokesperson for WHSmith, also speaking on behalf of the Post Office, said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers while the lift in our Hounslow store is out of service.

"A temporary Post Office counter has been set up on the ground floor, offering the full range of Post Office services, for customers unable to access the first floor via the stairs.

"We are currently working to repair the lift as soon as possible and are grateful for our customers' cooperation and patience at this time."

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