ELDERLY residents say they are trapped in their homes at a York retirement complex because its lift is out of action for up to six weeks.

The problems have arisen at Fairfax Court in Acomb, where many residents on the first and second floor rely on the lift because they are too old or infirm to use the stairs.

Peverel Retirement, which manages the complex, has written to residents to say a full upgrade of the lift is needed, for which a part must be specially manufactured in Spain, and the project could take six weeks.

Colin Jackson, whose mother lives at Fairfax Court, said she and many other residents now faced several weeks in 'jail' because they couldn't use the lift and couldn't manage the stairs, because of mobility or other problems.

"The laundry room and social facilities are on the ground floor," he said. "Many will not be able to access these without assistance."

He said residents had also been told they would have to pay for the repair costs, which would come to more than £20,000.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, said she could not climb the 28 stairs back to her second floor flat because of health problems and she was effectively trapped in her flat. "We have not had any apology," she added.

A Peverel Retirement spokeswoman apologised for the inconvenience caused to residents.

"We are aware of the issue and are working with the lift maintenance company to fix it as a matter of urgency," she said.

"Unfortunately the lift machine, bedplate and controller all need to be replaced. The controller is a major element of the lift system that has to be manufactured in Spain specifically for the lift at Fairfax Court.

"The two other parts for the lift have been ordered and will be replaced once the controller has arrived and has been fitted. The cost of repair will be covered by Fairfax Court’s reserve fund.

"The welfare and wellbeing of our residents is always our most important concern. Our onsite house manager will continue to keep residents advised of progress and will assist all residents with day-to-day tasks such as collecting refuse, carrying shopping to individual properties and carrying washing to the laundry room when required."