[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 07:18 GMT 08:18 UK
Oxford Street fails disabled test
London's busiest shopping street has been strongly criticised in a survey by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC).

Oxford Street had poor changing room facilities, toilets that were difficult to use and cinemas that wheelchair users could not get into.

New laws come into effect on Friday which could see businesses that do not cater for disabled people fined.

In the run up to this disabled shoppers across the country were asked to assess a day's visit to their city centre.

They were asked to shop for an item of clothing, make a trip to the cinema, visit a pub and to have lunch.

Disabled people in London will have real consumer rights for the first time and no longer have to put up with a second class service or being treated as second class citizens
DRC Chairman Bert Massie
One of the participants found he could not use a cinema in the central London street. There was no lift and he was told to use a cinema nearby.

A toilet in the restaurant a disabled shopper visited was difficult to use and changing rooms were not large enough to manoeuvre in but the layout of the clothing store was good.

From the 1 October, every business will need to become more user-friendly for about 10 million disabled people in Britain.

DRC Chairman Bert Massie said: "Disabled people in London will have real consumer rights for the first time and no longer have to put up with a second class service or being treated as second class citizens.

"Whilst it's clear that some shops and services are getting it right for the disabled consumer there are those that have done little or nothing to prepare for the legislation.

"For them there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide as disabled people's complaints will now be backed by law."




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific