Wednesday, June 1, 2011

British shop criticized by disability group for ban on motorized scooters

From Cambridge News in the UK:

A disability charity has criticised a “nasty” sign in a Cambridge shop which bans mobility scooters.

Kailash Stores in Mill Road had a sign on the window saying: “Motorised vehicles are not allowed in this store. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

Disability charity Papworth Trust said the sign was illegal and its managing director, David Martin, described it as “shocking”.

The manager of Kailash Stores, Mahesh Gohel, has said he will take the notice down, saying it was put up because vehicles bump into the shelves.

Last week a partially-sighted man was asked to leave the Tudor Rose café in Mill Road because he had his guide dog Vinnie with him.

Andrew Lee, of Princess Court, Coronation Street, Trumpington, was offended at being told he could not eat there.

Mr Martin said: “It is shocking to see such a nasty sign in 21st century Cambridge. This shopkeeper is losing out on thousands of pounds of business by turning away disabled people.

“What the shopkeeper is doing is illegal.

“Under the Equality law, this is a case of direct discrimination because it potentially puts disabled people at a substantial disadvantage by denying them access to a service.

“We would like to offer advice to the shopkeeper which we are sure would help to increase his business in the future.”

Mr Gohel said he always tried to accommodate people with disabilities and he had not realised the sign was illegal.

He said: “Our aisles are quite tight and we have had complaints where people have come and damaged the shelving.

“The scooters run into the shelves and damage them.

“Even though the sign is up we still try to accommodate people with disabilities. They still come in our store.”