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Pontins 'letting down disabled people' after 'banning' mobility scooters

PUBLISHED: 15:11 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:25 23 August 2019

Meat Handy, 36, said he was made to feel humiliated by the ban. Picture: Archant.

Meat Handy, 36, said he was made to feel humiliated by the ban. Picture: Archant.

Archant

A family has spoken out against the "disgusting treatment of disabled customers" which ruined a family holiday to Pontins holiday park in Pakefield, Lowestoft.

The family said the sign was discriminatory. Photo: Elaine HandyThe family said the sign was discriminatory. Photo: Elaine Handy

Elaine Handy, 62, was hoping for a trouble-free trip to the seaside with her husband, Paul, and 36-year-old son, Meat, who lives with cerebral palsy.

But they say their holiday was "ruined" when Pontins put up signs banning customers from taking mobility scooters into the site's main entertainment area.

Mrs Handy said: "My son was born with cerebral palsy and has no option but to use his scooter to get around.

"Does it not occur to them that someone who requires a mobility scooter would likely not have the ability to walk to other parts of the park?"

Meat Handy, 36, has cerebral palsy and requires a mobility scooter. Photo: Meat HandyMeat Handy, 36, has cerebral palsy and requires a mobility scooter. Photo: Meat Handy

A photograph shows a notice posted on the entrance to the resort's amusement arcade, which leads to the main entertainment area as well as the site's only designated disabled toilets.

The sign says mobility scooters are not allowed in the building "due to fire regulations".

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Mrs Handy said: "It was very upsetting. We spent a lot of time going into Great Yarmouth instead, because we felt too embarrassed to even approach the subject.

Pontins, Pakefield.

PHOTO: Nick ButcherPontins, Pakefield. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The family travelled over 200 miles from near Stratford-upon-Avon for their holiday.

Mrs Handy said: "Pontins owe us an apology, it's not nice. It spoilt the holiday. My son feels let down. He's tired and feels humiliated."

Mrs Handy added the 2010 Equality act states venues have a legal obligation to be accessible, and called the sign discriminatory.

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "We have worked closely with Pontins Pakefield to support them in assessing fire risks and making their premises a safe place for their staff and guests.

Meat Handy, 36, and mum Elaine Handy, 62, were visiting Pakefield from their home near Stratford-upon-Avon.Meat Handy, 36, and mum Elaine Handy, 62, were visiting Pakefield from their home near Stratford-upon-Avon.

"On Thursday, August 22, we carried out a full fire safety audit of the site. During the visit we reviewed notices on display and have advised the management team accordingly and understand that these will be updated immediately.

"For any property we will advise that escape routes must be kept clear at all times, allowing safe, unobstructed access in the event of a fire."

Pontins have been approached for comment.

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