Lack of access leaving disabled people out in the cold this Christmas

A lack of disabled access is preventing people from visiting friends and relatives this Christmas, according to a new survey.

The survey of disabled people found that more than 75 percent of them were not able to see friends and family as much as they wanted to over Christmas with over 90 percent saying their disability significantly prevented them from taking part in celebrations.

The survey was carried out by Adapted Vehicle Hire, the UK’s largest supplier of rental vehicles for disabled drivers and vehicle converters Constables Mobility.

In addition, more than 80 percent of people said there weren’t enough disabled parking spaces where they live, which added to their difficulties remaining mobile.

Commenting on the survey results, Lorraine Farnon, Managing Director of Adapted Vehicle Hire, said: “Christmas can be a stressful time of year without the added difficulties caused by a lack of suitable disabled access. Although this survey is just a snapshot, it clearly demonstrates that many people do not feel able to fully take part in Christmas celebrations and that a lack of disabled access is still a real problem for many people especially at Christmas.”

Constables’ Managing Director David Constable said: “The results of the survey are disappointing, but not surprising, and show there is a lot of scope for improvement when it comes to making the lives of disabled people easier.”

Despite these difficulties there was some good news. The majority of working respondents (79 percent) said their employer did consider the mobility needs of their workers when booking the Christmas party.

The survey also asked people to describe their shopping habits to see if mobility problems prevented them from doing their Christmas shopping. Just under half of all people said they would be shopping online this year to avoid busy town centres. However a third chose to brave the crowds and hit the high street instead.


Adapted Vehicle Hire supplies wheelchair accessible and specially adapted vehicles to the general public and through the Government’s Motability scheme. The company has a head office in West Drayton, Middlesex, and a further five branches across the UK.

Constables Mobility is one of the UK’s leading reputable manufacturers and suppliers of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Constables builds wheelchair accessible vehicles to the highest standards, offering independence, good accessibility and exceptional user comfort.

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