Pubs inaccessible to some disabled people

Many of the UK’s pubs and bars are not providing adequate access or service facilities for disabled people, according to a report published today by disability charity Leonard Cheshire.

The report of over 100 pubs and bars across the country has shown that whilst many venues were aware of their legal obligations to providing access to disabled people, audit teams could not even access some establishments.

Key findings of the report include:

• One in six venues was completely inaccessible to wheelchair users

• More than half did not have dedicated disabled parking.

• 40% did not have an accessible toilet

• Less than a third of venues had a bar at a height that was accessible to wheelchair users

According to Guy Parckar, parliamentary and campaigns officer at Leonard Cheshire, the report highlights that there is still much work to be done in improving levels of access for disabled people in the UK.

“Disabled people should have the same rights to access a pub as everyone else.  By not allowing this you are effectively discriminating against them” he said.

Leonard Cheshire is calling on industry bodies such as the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the Association of Licenced Multiple Retailers (ALMR) to draw up a code of practice on accessibility for all pubs and bars and wants breweries and pub chains to set out a clear disability access policy.

“We will encourage bodies to work with Leonard Cheshire, disabled people and audit teams to understand issues of accessibility and how they can be improved.” says Parckar.  “We are not only making them aware of their legal obligations, but also helping them improve service to disabled people.”

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