Skegness amusement arcade bans mobility scooters

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A disabled holidaymaker claims he was thrown out of an arcade – because they ‘banned scooters’.

Simon Sansome, 39, was enjoying a family outing in Ingoldmells, Skegness, Lincolnshire on Wednesday when he said he was asked to leave Bells Amusement Arcade by an employee.

The disabled activist, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was shocked to see a sign in their window claiming that due to a ‘management decision’ mobility scooters were ‘no longer allowed in the establishment’ – due to ‘accidents involving customers’.

Simon Sansome, 39, was enjoying a family outing in Ingoldmells, Skegness, Lincolnshire on Wednesday when he said he was asked to leave Bells Amusement Arcade by an employee

Mr Sansome was pictured in the Bells Amusement Arcade, along with his family

Mr Sansome was pictured in the Bells Amusement Arcade, along with his family

Mr Sansome, who has a blog raising awareness of disability access issues, claims he has since tried to contact the arcade to speak to the manager but received no response.

He labeled the decision “ridiculous” and “obscene” as he says he was not offered a manual wheelchair or any other alternative way to enjoy the venue.

The sign reads ‘Please note – mobility scooters are no longer allowed in this establishment. This is a decision made due to the number of accidents involving other customers lately.

‘We have manual wheelchairs for your use. Consult one of the employees who can help you with this.’

Mr Sansome, from Leicester, Leicestershire, said: ‘How dare they tell me what is best for me in their institution. It’s not like they’re a doctor – it’s ridiculous.

The amusement arcade has posted a sign explaining its decision to ban mobility scooters and claims they have manual wheelchairs available

The amusement arcade has posted a sign explaining its decision to ban mobility scooters and claims they have manual wheelchairs available

“I use my scooters for long days – it’s a lot more comfortable than my wheelchair, and it’s more durable for going up and down slopes and curbs.

‘I was not offered a manual wheelchair, and I cannot use a manual wheelchair on my own. That’s why I have a mobility scooter and an electric wheelchair.

“It’s absolutely obscene. It is certainly discrimination.

‘Where do you draw the line? First it’s me who has spinal damage. What about someone with learning disabilities or a mental illness? Are we going to ban everyone?

“They gave me no justification for the decision. They just said it was management’s decision.

“What I want is for them to change their policies and let people who have to use these scooters into the building.

‘It’s not a mobility problem, I was able to move around the building just fine. There were people with prams and wheelchairs, and no one had a problem getting around.

“What I can imagine them worrying — and I can understand this — is that because there are so many lights and sounds going on, kids will be very distracted.

“I didn’t run into anyone, but people almost ran into me, so maybe they were worried about that.

“I appreciate that, but it doesn’t mean you ban people from your building.

“It wasn’t the employee’s decision, she really felt guilty. She was just getting started there – the last thing I want is to get her in trouble.

“She just told me it was management’s decision.”

Mr Sansome, who lists a lot of disability discrimination for his Ability Access blog and campaigns, says this is the first time he's been asked to leave an institution

Mr. Sansome, who lists a lot of disability discrimination for his blog Ability Access and during campaigns, says this is the first time he’s been asked to leave a facility

Mr. Sansome, who catalogs a lot of disability discrimination for his blog Ability Access and throughout his campaign, says this is the first time he’s been asked to leave an institution.

He said, ‘That’s the first time someone comes up to me and says, ‘I’m sorry, you have to leave. The management has told us that we are not allowed to let scooters in here.’

‘I asked her, ‘How do you expect me to move? I’m paralyzed from the waist down,” and she said, “I’m really sorry, it’s management’s decision.”

“It’s so cheeky, it’s stupid. I have tried a number of times to contact the manager. When I first called later in the day, the receptionist told me they were in an emergency meeting.

“I called back the next day—several times—and no one picked up.”

A representative of The Bell Group – which runs several entertainment facilities in Lincolnshire – declined to comment ‘until they have spoken’ [Mr Sansome] straight away’.

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