Pubs & bars ‘averagely’ accessible

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

The importance of access: People with disabilities have their say (Getty/ Henrik Sorensen)
The importance of access: People with disabilities have their say (Getty/ Henrik Sorensen)

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Most respondents to the UK’s largest disability access survey felt pubs and bars were ‘averagely’ accessible for people with disabilities.

More than 7,500 people took part in the research run by disabled access charity Euan’s Guide supported by Motability Operations. 95% of respondents identified as disabled people, with the remainder being family, friends, carers and professionals. 

Some 36% of respondents claimed accessibility in pubs and bars was average, but a quarter of respondents (25%) felt accessibility of these spaces was good. 16% said they didn’t know. 

Furthermore, only 4% of participants labelled accessibility as excellent in pubs and bars, and the same percentage labelled it as very poor. 

Accessibility needs

Euan’s Guide founder Euan MacDonald said: “We’re delighted to be working with Motability Operations for a second year to amplify the voices and experiences of disabled people with the Access Survey, which is vital in establishing how disabled people feel about disabled access. This year the survey results inform us on how much work there is still to be done around communication and information sharing.  

“Sadly, the data gathered has shown that businesses don’t fully appreciate how important it is to share their disabled access information. Businesses are undervaluing disabled people both in terms of social inclusion and spending power.” 

Overall, the survey looked at many sectors including transport, hospitals, festivals and shops. Overall, the data showed 72% of disabled people had found accessibility information on a venue’s website to be misleading, confusing or inaccurate.  

Changing plans

When responding to the survey, 27% of participants also reported having experienced a disappointing trip or having had to change plans due to poor accessibility.  

What’s more, a huge 91% of respondents said they tried to find disabled access information about a new place before visiting, and more than half (58%) of survey participants said they avoided going to a venue if it has not shared its disabled access information because they assumed it would be inaccessible.  

Mobility Operations chief executive Andrew Miller said providing freedom and independence for disabled people was at the heart of his work. 

“We believe no disabled person should be left behind,” he continued, “so we’re pleased to support the Euan’s Guide access survey again this year and it’s great to see so many Motability Scheme customers have completed the survey.  

“The insights that Euan’s Guide have shared are vital, and we hope that venues and other organisations take note and use them to improve disabled access across the country.’’ 

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