A woman whose disability is a result of an injury sustained during service to her country was this week told she is not allowed in a post office on her mobility scooter.
Louise Davies, 61, was in tears after being ‘embarrassed’ in the town centre branch on Saturday.
Unable to stand in queues or carry heavy parcels, Mrs Davies rode her mobility scooter inside, something she has done many times before.
She said: “A woman came over and said ‘do you actually need that scooter?’. I said ‘yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be using it’.
“She said it was a health and safety issue and said they’d just had training and were told they weren’t allowed to let mobility scooters in.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked. I was upset and I was embarrassed.
“How dare she?”
Mrs Davies, who lives in Grantham, asked to speak to the branch manager.
“Her answer was ‘you don’t use it at home’,” she said.
“I was made to feel like I was malingering and I’m not.
“Are they going to stop people with pushchairs and wheelchairs, or people with prams?”
It was at the age of 18, while serving in the Women’s Royal Army Corps, that Mrs Davies had an accident and developed foot drop. The condition has become more progressive over the years and affected more of her joints.
She said: “I’m classed now as 80 per cent disabled. I can’t walk any distance. I don’t stand up or sit down very well for any length of time.”
A spokesman for the Post Office said: “We are sorry for any distress caused to the customer. We understand that the customer’s mobility scooter is a Class 1-2 so can be allowed into a branch if space permits and we are reviewing this matter with the branch concerned.
“A number of incidents and near-misses have indicated that the use of powerful mobility scooters within our branches constituted a hazard to others and therefore required our attention.
“Our policy is that Class 1 (compact) scooters will normally be allowed in Post Office premises where there is adequate space and a suitable layout for them to be used safely.
“Mobility scooters of a larger size, Class 2 (pavement) and Class 3 (road) scooters, are not designed for use indoors and are not normally permitted in Post Office branches due to their size, manoeuvrability and power and the significant risk of injury that could be caused to other customers during operation.
“Where space has been identified as an issue through the local workplace risk assessment, branch managers will review the space and layout of the customer side of the counter. Where it is not possible to accommodate the mobility scooter, reasonable adjustments should be considered for the customer by the branch manager.”