Companies vow to act on BBC disabled access exposé

10 Mar 2015

You may remember a BBC investigation last year exposed a number of high street companies, taxi firms and railways as not being accessible to disabled people.

More than 100 restaurants are now being audited for accessibility. Training is being launched and equipment installed.

Mr Harper, who wrote to the organisations ordering them to improve, said: “Having watched the footage, there were some companies that clearly weren’t doing what the law says they should be doing – but also not doing what a modern business should do in terms of the way it treats its customers.”

The minister said he was encouraged by the organisations’ responses –

  • Caffé Concerto said it had now assessed all its branches and was changing some to make them more accessible.
  • Itsu acknowledged improvements to staff training and accessibility were needed. It said accessibility had been agreed as one of the chain’s focuses for 2015 and an external accessibility firm would be employed.
  • Caffé Nero said its initial response to the BBC was not as sensitive to the issue as it should have been, and apologised to members of the public who subsequently contacted them.
  • Costa Coffee said ramp problems highlighted in the investigation have been fixed.
  • Southeastern Rail expressed concern with the issues uncovered and said relevant station managers had been made aware of them.

The original investigator says the government are still not doing enough and believes “Ministers should be making simple… legislation which makes this kind of offence a criminal offence, not a civil offence…I have to take it upon myself to take that person [denying me a service] to court.”
Go to the BBC website for the full story

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