A LIFT used by elderly and disabled tenants will remain closed as council chiefs say it is too expensive to repair.

Residents in Mayflower Square, Brighton, feel they are being denied easy access to nearby shops after the lift broke down in May.

It was being repaired by a council-hired contractor but has been closed after Brighton and Hove City Council said it was “not cost-effective” to keep repairing it because of the age of the machinery.

The lift outside the flats runs from the ground floor, down through a car park to Providence Place, behind the London Road shopping precinct.

Janet Johnson, 64, has lived in the block for ten years and has become a campaigner for fellow residents.

She said: “We have people in the block who have heart conditions and breathing problems. They can’t walk around the long way.

“They moved here for medical reasons because they were told when the flat was advertised that it had a lift.”

There are 53 flats in the block, which has a main entrance opening out on to New England Street.

Mrs Johnson said residents do not like using the stairs because of drinkers and drug-users.

Mrs Johnson said: “It doesn’t feel safe here. A lot of residents don’t want to use the staircase because of what is going on. They are too scared.”

A council spokeswoman said the work required to get the lift up and running again was not covered by the maintenance repair contract and it is therefore not going to be fixed.

Geoff Raw, executive director of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We are very sorry for the inconvenience to residents of Mayflower Square and London Road car park users.

“The lift in London Road car park is beyond economic repair and unfortunately will remain closed.

“Street-level access for residents of Mayflower Square is from the main entrance of the building. The ground-floor properties are accessible for wheelchair users.”

Residents who have mobility needs can get advice from council staff by calling 01273 293030.