Disabled customer wins York Barbican legal challenge

York Press: Doug Paulley Doug Paulley

A DISABLED customer has won a landmark legal battle over ‘discriminatory’ ticket pricing policies at York Barbican.

Lawyers for Doug Paulley brought a legal case against the venue’s operators SMG after he was required to buy two separate full price tickets for both him and a carer who needed to accompany him to an event.

Unity Law said that after a ‘lengthy and robustly defended legal challenge,’ SMG had finally agreed the evening before the start of a trial to amend its policy.

Managing Partner Chris Fry said all Barbican visitors who needed to be accompanied by a carer would now have to pay no more than the cost of one fully priced ticket.

“This case establishes a legal precedent in relation to ticket pricing policies for disabled customers and their carers,” he said.

“By bringing his case, Doug has secured a change of policy which not only affects this venue, but also has a wide reaching impact on sports and entertainment venues across the UK.”

Mr Paulley said he had brought the case on behalf of himself and seven other people from a care home at Wetherby, who were shocked to find they were to be ‘charged double’ just because they were disabled.

“We have no choice but to rely upon carers, who we have to pay to help anyway,” he said. “I felt very strongly that this kind of policy essentially kept disabled people away from social venues, and that something had to be done.”

York Barbican spokesman Tony Watson said he was disappointed the issue had got to this stage. “We have actively worked with Mr Paulley and his representatives to gain a mutually satisfactory outcome,” he said.

“At the time Mr Paulley inquired for tickets at York Barbican, our policy was to give a discounted price ticket for a necessary carer. As this event only had one ticket price, we were unable to action our policy.”

He said the company was committed to ensuring access and enjoyment of all events was available to everyone. “As such we have clarified the policy to remove this anomaly, so that the combined total price for a visitor and carer will be equal to the cost of one full priced ticket."

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