A COUPLE living in a high-rise claim their Christmas was “ruined” after both lifts in the block broke down - leaving them “trapped” in their flat with only a cheese sarnie.

The lifts in Winterstoke House, Ashton Gate, Bristol which has 60 flats in the building, have been out of order since Christmas Eve.

Winterstoke House is home to many people over 50 years old who also have health complaints, according to Lyn and Stephen Phillips, who live on the 10th floor who added that going up and down the stairs is not an option for some.

The first lift broke down earlier this month and was reported to Bristol City Council but residents were told engineers were waiting on a part.

Then the second lift broke down on Christmas Eve at around 8pm meaning many residents became “prisoners in their own home”.

The council said engineers had been sent out to fix the problem but were unable to keep the lifts working, Bristol Live has reported.

They apologised to the residents and said working on getting at least one of the lifts operational was a “top priority”.

Lyn and Steve claim they were “trapped” in their flat since Christmas Eve.

Lyn, 53 who suffers from angina, said her Christmas had been ruined because of it.

She said they were forced to eat a cheese sandwich for their Christmas dinner as they couldn’t travel to their daughter’s house where they were expecting to spend the day.

Lyn said: “I have already had a heart attack and am currently trying to fight off a chest infection with antibiotics, so there is no way I could climb 10 flights of stairs.

“Christmas was completely ruined for us.

“We have become prisoners in our own home. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

Husband Steve is an insulin dependent diabetic.

Lyn added: “I don’t want to leave the building and then not be able to get back into my home - or even worse get stuck in the lift when it breaks down.”

She also said she was worried about other residents in the block who were in their 90s and had mobility issues.

Debra Salisbury, whose 78-year-old mother lives in the block, also said she was worried about her mum and how the emergency services would gain access to the flats.

Visitors can be buzzed into the building who then have access to the lifts but to get access to the stairs they need a key fob to be able to open another door.

This means residents have to walk down the stairs to the ground floor to let people in, including the emergency services.

A typed note on one of the lifts says: “Dear tenant, due to the non availability of a replacement lift motor drive unit for lift number one, we have had to remove the existing unit to vendors for repair.

“Unfortunately due to the holiday period we cannot be guaranteed a delivery return date.

“We will refit the repaired unit as soon as it is available.

“Stannah apologise for any inconvenience this may cause anyone.”

But now a handwritten note has been added to the bottom of the signs which says: “Apologies both lifts are now out of order awaiting parts. Please contact the council for updates.

“Sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.”

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said: “We apologise to residents of Winterstoke House for any inconvenience caused by the broken lifts – especially at this time of year when friends and family may be visiting.

“The fault on the second lift was reported to us at around 8pm on Christmas Eve.

“An engineer attended the same day, and was able to get the lift operational, but unfortunately it then broke down again.

“The other lift has been out of action for ten days, and we are currently waiting for a part to be refurbished. We hope this will be done in early January.

“However, making sure at least one lift is working has been a top priority for us. Caretaking staff are also on site to help vulnerable residents throughout the day.”