Survey: Pubs and bars ‘harder to access than castles’

12th March, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Pubs and bars are considered to be the venues with the worst access for disabled people, according to a recent survey.

Pubs and bars must “think again about what they can do to improve access”

The Access Survey by charity Euan’s Guide and biannual event Disabled Access Day (16 March 2019) surveyed 903 people.

The findings were primarily from disabled people (76%), while the remainder was a combination of carers, friends and healthcare professionals.

Respondents were asked to compare the accessibility of 13 types of venues including pubs and bars, cafés, shops, hotels, museums and historic places.

The findings showed that more people considered pubs and bars to have poorer access than historical places built in a different century.

In the survey, 21% of respondents said that access to historic places was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, while only 13% felt pubs and bars provided the same level of accessibility.

Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “It’s astonishing that bars and pubs are often harder to access than castles and ancient buildings built hundreds of years ago. It just shows that an old building is no barrier to good access.”

Paul Ralph, founder of Disabled Access Day, added: “We understand that not everywhere is fully accessible, but if they are honest about what is and isn’t available, people can plan accordingly.

“We hope that, by highlighting this discrepancy ahead of Disabled Access Day, it will encourage pubs and other places to think again about what they can do to improve access.

“It can be something as simple as having tables with removable chairs in addition to existing benches and booths, or investing in a portable ramp.”

A survey by disability charity Leonard Cheshire last year found that more than eight in 10 disabled people faced challenges accessing pubs and bars.

In December last year, the UK government confirmed it would recruit a food and drink champion to raise awareness of the need for improved access to venues, better customer service and staff training.

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