A disabled pensioner has found herself banned from her local post office - because her mobility scooter is too big.
Seventy-nine-year-old Beth Wakefield says that customers were ‘absolutely horrified’ when she was told to leave the Post Office inside WH Smith’s store in Swan Walk, Horsham, after going there to post a parcel.
“I was told that my mobility scooter was too large and it was all to do with the size of buggies, but I asked why they hadn’t thought of that when they designed the place.”
The Post Office moved from the nearby Carfax to inside WH Smith’s in March. “When it was in the Carfax, I regularly went in to post my letters and parcels.”
Beth, who lives at Jasmine Court, relies on her scooter to get about. She has osteoarthritis and is unable to stand for more than a few minutes at a time, or walk very far unaided.
She wrote a letter of complaint to Post Office officials after her ‘ban’, pointing out: “I’m sure that mothers with twin baby buggies must take up just as much room as I.”
And she suggested that a bell could be placed at the shop entrance so that people with mobility problems could get someone to help them.
A customer service adviser replied to Beth, apologising for the difficulties she encountered and stated: “Please be assured that all of our branches do take all reasonable steps to allow mobility scooters in branch, however this is not always possible due to space restrictions.”
He said that if space were restricted, “mobility scooter users may not be allowed to enter the branch with their mobility scooter, this is to ensure the health and safety of all our customers.”
He added that the policy was in line with information issued by the Department for Transport.
A spokesman for the Post Office added: “Staff will try to provide solutions when possible to help people receive service.”