Companies promise to act after BBC’s disabled access exposé

The Quingo team recently read that some large UK firms have undertaken urgent measures to improve their services for people with disabilities. The news follows a BBC London investigation that exposed several failures in this area.

Taking measures to improve accessibility

As part of the investigation, a blind person and a wheelchair user wore secret cameras to document cafes without ramps, minicab drivers that refused to accept guide dogs and train station staff not present when assistance was required. More than 100 restaurants are now being audited for their accessibility. The news comes after the government ordered the companies to explain their failings.

Quingo Scooters

Last autumn, researchers from the BBC found unusable tables or inadequate or missing ramps at branches of Costa Coffee, Itsu, Eat, Chipotle, Caffé Nero, Caffé Concerto and the Post Office.

Mark Harper MP, Minister for Disabled People, singled out the response from restaurant chain Eat as being particularly worthy of praise. The chain has put in place new training and all of its 113 UK stores have been audited to ensure they’re accessible.

What action has been taken?

Sarah Doyle, Eat’s brand director, said: “We were mortified. Therefore when we saw that footage we took it very seriously and undertook to investigate. We’ve asked all our shop teams to check the equipment is there and we have put in place replacement equipment if it was required.”

Itsu acknowledged improvements to staff training and accessibility needed to be made. They said that an external accessibility firm would be employed to ensure that the necessary changes were put in place to cater for a wider range of customers including mobility scooter users.

Caffé Concerto said that it was changing some of its branches having realised that they weren’t sufficiently accessible, whilst Costa Coffee said that the ramp problems highlighted by the BBC’s investigation have been fixed.

Finding adequate solutions

Southeastern Rail also expressed concern with the issues uncovered by the BBC, saying that the relevant station managers had been informed of the need for change.

Organisations are obliged by law to take all necessary steps so as to comply with the Equality Act. As a result of this investigation, it seems that tangible progress is being made.

These positive changes will no doubt be welcomed by Quingo Scooter users. Large companies in particular should have the resources and budget to ensure their stores are sufficiently accessible.

What we can expect in the future

At Quingo, mobility and accessibility are priorities for us. We believe it’s crucially important that those with limited mobility have access to the same services as anyone else. As such, we welcome the efforts taken by many of the companies highlighted in the BBC’s investigation.

About Quingo

The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.

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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC).  AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 308478.