Berkshire

Wheelchair user 'couldn't access Ikea cafe'

Ikea barriers Image copyright Nigel Brown
Image caption Nigel Brown could not access the food section of the Reading Ikea

A wheelchair user has accused Ikea of not thinking about disabled access after he was unable to enter a store's cafe.

Nigel Brown from Maidenhead said "inaccessible crash barriers" at the Reading store's dining area meant he and a friend could not access it to order food.

Mr Brown said: "They haven't really thought about someone in a wheelchair."

Ikea said it was "committed to being as accessible as possible".

A spokesperson added: "We are naturally disappointed that we have not lived up to Mr Brown's needs as a wheelchair user.

"We will take Mr Brown's feedback for the future as we continue to improve the accessibility of our stores."

Mr Brown, who uses a manual wheelchair, said most of the store was "fine and quite accessible", but added he struggled to wheel himself through the barriers and his friend in a powered chair would not get through at all.

Mr Brown, who visited the store on Wednesday, said another friend had to describe the food on the counter so his friend in the electric wheelchair could place an order.

The former accessibility consultant at Heathrow Airport added: "I think she felt quite frustrated... she couldn't get anywhere near to the counter.

"I would imagine they haven't thought about it. At Heathrow we had removable barriers.

"Things are improved, but I think a lot of companies just don't realise the difficulty that some disabled people face on a day-to-day basis."

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