A DISABLED pensioner has vowed never to return to Bournemouth after a broken down lift left her and her elderly husband stranded on the beach.

Arthritic Josie Boland, who walks with sticks following hip and knee replacement operations, and her husband Patrick, 74, booked a beach hut during their stay at the cliff-top Highcliffe Marriott Hotel.

But the Leicestershire couple ended up cancelling the hut after the lift broke down in July while they were still on the beach.

Josie claims it was out of action for almost three days.

The retired accounts administrator said: “We always stay at the Highcliffe because it is so near the lift.

“Last year it broke down several times and we were stuck down at our beach hut; there didn’t seem to be any contingency plans.

“This year it failed again.

“A member of staff from the Highcliffe had brought our chairs down to the hut.

“When we discovered the lift had broken down we cancelled our hut and got someone to bring our chairs back up.

“This spoiled our holiday; we had paid almost £2,000 for the week-long break.”

Josie added: “We weren’t the only ones affected; there were very elderly people queuing for the lift as well as people in wheelchairs.

“I’d like to know why it took so long to repair it; particularly during the busy summer season. We definitely won’t be coming back to Bournemouth.”

Bournemouth council’s operations Andrew Brown said: “Our Victorian cliff lifts are maintained to a very high standard, with health and safety concerns dealt with as a priority.

“On this occasion we were advised to close the lift until repairs could be completed. The customers were sent a letter of apology and were fully refunded for their beach hut hire.

“The seafront staff also helped the couple to return their belongings from the beach hut back to their hotel.

“The lift was out of action for under three days, whilst we undertook repairs.”