AN artist says disabled friends have been unable to see an exhibition of his work because of access problems.

An display of Arthur Hughes's silk screen posters is being staged at Darlington Library and Art Gallery until Friday.

But many people, including the artist's wife, who is a wheelchair user, have had difficulty accessing the building. Mr Hughes said: "My wife came to the preview, but had to be lifted up the stairs by the taxi driver. A large proportion of people have also expressed regret at being prevented from seeing the exhibits because of the virtual ban on disabled persons of all ages, due to the entire lack of access to the art gallery."

Mr Hughes has given a sketch to Darlington Borough Council outlining his idea for a ramp.

A council spokesman said: "We are already working with the disabled access group in Darlington to look at all the options, but there are all sorts of problems with the Crown Street building. First of all, it's a listed building, so we can't just go hacking it around.

"If there is going to be a ramp, does it encroach on the pavement? And would we have to change the entrance, or are we going to install a lift?

"And it doesn't stop at the door. We have got to look beyond that. It is a fairly complex issue."