Friday, November 26, 2010

British pub bars wheelchair using friends after they asked for path to accessible restroom be cleared

From The Southport Visiter in the UK:

Wheelchair users were barred from a Southport pub after asking a landlord to clear the disabled toilet.

The group of friends told of their shock at being banned from the Coronation Pub on King Street on Friday.

Disabled mother Chantelle Rea-Bradley, 47, said her friend Dawn Foster went to use the toilet but it was so cluttered she could not turn her wheelchair around.

The friends had been there the week before and complained about the toilet, so Chantelle rang in advance to let the pub landlord know they were coming back.

Chantelle, of St James Street, who has fibromyalgia, said: “I asked if anything had been done about it yet. He was quite antagonistic with me and said there was nothing wrong with the toilet.”

The toilet was still cluttered, so Tarnya Clyne, who also has fibromyalgia, complained to the landlord.

Tarnya, 26, who lives on Virginia Street, said: “He said if I had a problem to take it up with the brewery.”

They decided to leave and she complained to Greene Kings the pub’s brewery, who apologised and asked them to return.

When they went back to the pub that afternoon the landlord stopped them at the door and said he would “prefer” it if they did not come in.

Chantelle said: “I asked him if he was saying we are barred and he said yes, closed the door and went inside.”

Tarnya said: “It’s horrendous. All we want to be able to do is go to the toilet and lock the door and be treated with respect.”

Chantelle said: “We are not causing trouble we just want to be treated with respect.”

A spokesman for Greene Kings said: “We are disappointed to hear that a valued customer found the condition of the toilet facilitates in one of our pubs unacceptable.

“When staff were informed of the problem, they acted swiftly to remove any obstruction and the issue has now been resolved.

“At no point was the customer, or any of her party, excluded from the premises. They are welcome to return at any time and we apologise for any misunderstanding.”