Derby

Derby wheelchair user felt 'banished' from Starbucks

Ann Webster in Starbucks Image copyright Ann Webster
Image caption Ann Webster says she felt "banished" from Starbucks because of the height of the tables

Starbucks stores containing only high tables have been criticised by disability campaigners as "ignorant".

Ann Webster, from Derbyshire, highlighted the problem on Twitter, claiming she felt "banished to sit outside" the chain's St Pancras store.

Campaigners for better disabled access on public transport said they were "frustrated and angry" about the shops' lay-out.

Starbucks said the stores were designed to encourage "grab and go" culture.

Ms Webster, lead for equality and diversity with Derby City Council, wrote on Twitter in December she was shocked there were no standard tables available she could use.

She told the BBC: "Basically Starbucks at St Pancras has been refurbished but they have disregarded the needs of disabled people by having all high tables and bar stools inside.

"The standard tables are outside in the cold. Several other disabled people on Twitter have complained too."

'Excluded from mainstream'

Ms Webster complained to the coffee chain - which replied this week saying it was sorry for her disappointment - but described its response as "dreadful".

However, she has received support from TakingTheDis, an accessibility campaign group.

Co-founder Julian Sorfleet said: "As problems like this show, we are being excluded from mainstream life.

"We are having to fight to use services and access buildings."

Starbucks said a renovation to the store in 2019 was aimed at trying to encourage customers to take away their purchases.

However, it added it was working to fix the issue Ms Webster had highlighted.

A spokesperson said: "We take seriously our responsibility to ensure all areas of our stores are accessible to everyone."

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