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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Disabled pensioner on mobility trike ordered out of Carlisle shop

A disabled pensioner was ordered out of a shop – because he was on his mobility trike.

Colin Porter photo
Colin Porter on his trike

Colin Porter, of Thursby, went into Wilkinson’s in Carlisle’s Market Hall for a new lock for the trike.

But the 79-year-old claims he was told to leave as another customer had complained about his battery-operated three-wheeled bike, which he is reliant on to get out and about.

The retailer has now promised to investigate and insists disabled customers are always welcome in its stores.

But Mr Porter, who suffers from various disabilities, told the News & Star how he had to wait by the shop entrance while a member of staff did his shopping for him.

He said: “I went over to where I thought the cycle stuff was and a young gentleman who worked there came over to me.

“He told me I had to leave the building with my trike because it wasn’t allowed inside.

“The chap was very nice and got all my shopping for me, took it to the till and paid for it while I waited by the door.

“I have never been in the shop before on my trike because I have only recently started travelling into Carlisle again.

“I have no sense of balance but I’m okay as long as I’m on my trike – before I had it I could hardly go anywhere or do anything. There were no notices up [to say the trike wasn’t allowed in] so I had no idea.

“I wasn’t pleased at all to be told to leave and luckily there weren’t many other people around at the time or it would have been quite embarrassing – but I wouldn’t have done any harm.”

Mr Porter uses the trike because he suffers from rheumatism and had a stroke several years ago.

The effects of the stroke returned after he was involved in an accident while taking part in the Great Cumbrian Run in 2012.

He had been on the trike when he collided with something as he came down the hill by the Sands Centre in Carlisle.

Mr Porter has no recollection of the crash but he hasn’t been able to use his left arm or hand since and is now completely dependent on the vehicle.

After the incident in Wilkinson’s he planned to boycott the store. But he has since spoken to the manager who apologised and assured him he was welcome back any time.

“I was told they didn’t realise it was a mobility trike so I will be going back in on it,” Mr Porter said.

Wilkinson’s confirmed an investigation into the incident will take place.

A spokesman for the company said: “All disabled customers are welcome at Wilko’s and that is part of the philosophy of the business.

“We will do everything we can to put the matter right once the facts have been established.”

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