A SEVERELY disabled woman who has difficulty walking was left in tears after a Bromsgrove coffee shop told her she could not use her mobility scooter in the store.

Dianne Williams, 63, ordered a breakfast inside Coffee2 in High Street before she was informed by a member of staff her mobility scooter was not permitted in.

Shop manager Jamie Leavesley has said the store’s insurance does not cover mobility scooters in an accident, adding they also pose a health and safety risk.

The cafe is now installing a sign informing visitors of their policy.

But Ms Williams, from Northfield, who uses the scooter as a result of spinal injuries sustained more than 20 years ago, said she felt discriminated against and embarrassed following the incident on July 25.

She said: “It has upset me. I am severely disabled and need to use my scooter.

“I had ordered a breakfast so I said I wanted my money back.

“I go to Bromsgrove a lot as my mother lives there but I am not going back to that café.

“It was very hard. I said I’m covered by insurance but he said it makes no difference as if anyone falls in the shop it would be their responsibility.

“I was so upset. It was embarrassing. I feel really targeted as if I have got two heads.

“I am not able to walk a long way which is why I use my mobility scooter. I am not obstructing anybody. I have never had problems before in any shops.”

Mr Leavesley insists she was not asked to leave the cafe, but informed “that motorised scooters are to be left outside unless in special circumstances at the owners discretion”.

He added: “Coffee2 does not discriminate against disabled people in any shape or form and even has those with disability in for work experience and has employed disabled staff in the past.

“We have to consider the Health and Safety Act and risk to our staff and other members of the public, especially in the environment where hot food and drinks are being delivered to tables along with the increased risk of obstruction.

“We are a small cafe and are duty bound to do due diligence and act in an appropriate manner.

“We are frequented daily by disabled people and welcome them warmly.

“We accept wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs, walking frames and prams and are able to adapt various safety arrangements to accommodate any requests.

“However motorised scooters in any confined space do cause concern as there is little room to turn and they can cause an obstruction to fire escapes.

“This is not an issue on disability but on public safety.

“We have always offered outside table service to any disabled customers.

“Added to this the member of my workforce who spoke with Mrs Williams knows all about disability as he is a blue badge holder himself.”

Disability Rights UK’s Philip Connolly said he has “never heard of anything like this before”.

He added: “I do not think it should be taken as carte blanche that they have the right to do this. I am not convinced they can. It may be discriminatory.”

A spokesman from the Equality and Human Rights Commission said businesses have a duty to make “all possible reasonable adjustments” to accommodate disabled people.

She added: “Not only is this the right thing to do, it makes good business sense to enable as many people as possible to enjoy the amenities.”