Bank of Scotland must pay damages and install wheelchair lift
with a story from the BBC
The Royal Bank of Scotland lost its appeal to a ruling that it must install a $320,000 lift in one of it’s 19th century branches in Sheffield.
David Allen, 18, had won his original complaint the bank, where he dealt for 8 years, did not accommodate his wheelchair. Not only could he not enter the bank, there were no facilities for lowered counters or door openers.
The bank argued unsuccessfully that Allen could use any one of three other branches. It also argued the expense of renovating the 19th century branch on Church Street was not reasonable.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and ordered the bank to carry out the work.
“The original ruling at Sheffield County Court was the first of its kind and set a legal precedent that could have implications for other service providers, legal experts said afterwards.”
“The bank told the Court of Appeal it had complied with the Disability Rights Commission’s Code of Practice and it had arranged access to three other branches.”
“Dismissing the appeal, judges ordered the bank to pay Mr Allen’s legal costs and refused it permission to take the case to the Supreme Court.”
“Lord Justice Wall said Mr Allen could not access counter facilities at the bank and a duty “plainly thereby arose” under the Disability Discrimination Act.”
“The judge said the bank could have taken steps to provide access for those suffering from disabilities. BBC ”
Historic buildings are no excuse for lack of accessibility.
On Prince Edward Island the government was forced to make the 100 year old Summerside Court house with its steep steps accessible. On the other hand churches like St. Dunstan’s have been able to get away with half measures. The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) uses loopholes in the law and a lax building code administration to avoid making the campus accessible.