Disabled Access In Glasgow – Are We Doing Enough?
In this Blog I would like to explore “Disabled Access In Glasgow – Are We Doing Enough” for people who rely on a wheelchair for mobility. Are we doing enough to make sure that disabled people are not discriminated against and do they have the same options as able-bodied people?!
Full Table of Content
- 1 Disabled Access In Glasgow – Are We Doing Enough?
- 2 My Take on Disabled Access in Glasgow
- 3 Paper Cup, Great Western Road
- 4 Elena’s Spanish Bar and Restaurant, Yorkhill
- 5 Once Upon A Tart, King Street, Merchant City
- 6 The Butterfly and The Pig & The Tearooms, Bath Street
- 7 Bread meats Bead, St Vincent Street
- 8 The Hug and Pint, Great Western Road
- 9 Old Saltys, Byres Road
- 10 SmoakBBQ, Royal Exchange Square
Whilst walking down my local high street one day which so happens to be in Glasgow City Centre I decided to have a glance at each building as I passed and view access with the mind of someone who was in a wheelchair. Is it at all accessible if you are in a wheelchair, has it been altered to accommodate wheelchair use and if so is it a complete solution? Each shop/pub/restaurant and hotel that I passed didn’t seem too. Disabled Access In Glasgow didn’t seem to me like a common thing.
According to recent figures there are over 10 million disabled people in Britain, 6.9 million of these individuals are of working age which means that this represents 19% of the working population. 19% is a large number and I feel that it is unfair that on a daily basis these people are discriminated against time and time again.
The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995 and although this has now been replaced with the Equality Act 2010 the principle remains the same. Here are some links with further information on both acts to allow you to read some more for yourself if you wish too.
My Take on Disabled Access in Glasgow
So I have decided to do a bit of research and randomly pick places covering cake shops, places for brekkie, pubs, restaurants etc for Disabled Access In Glasgow to view if they are accessible for wheelchair users and are wheelchair friendly.
Paper Cup, Great Western Road
Paper Cup is a hipster café situated in the West End, serving nice coffee (which you can also buy to take home and make yourself in a cafetiere) and snacks consisting of things like sourdough toast with smashed avocado. The décor inside is shabby chic and it very cool but it is a very tight space. When you approach the shop there are a small number of tables outside and a door to the right-hand side. To gain access to the cafe you need to get up a small step (which would be manageable for most wheelchair users) however the inside space is very limited and not wheelchair friendly at all. The bathroom is also up a step, however, this one is much larger and would not manageable. So, therefore, this would be on the not friendly list.
Elena’s Spanish Bar and Restaurant, Yorkhill
Elena’s Spanish Bar and Restaurant is in Yorkhill so although it is not as central as some of the other we have reviewed I think it is definitely worth a mention. The food itself is very tasty, however, it is worth noting that the portions are massive so don’t go to mad when you place your order! There is a very cosy and welcoming atmosphere which is nice and lively but not too loud. There are no access issues and the restaurant itself is spacious enough inside to maneuver around without any difficulty. It is worth noting that if you are looking to access the disabled toilets then you will need to enter the restaurant through Regent Moray Street as this is the area that you will need to be seated in. In general, this has a thumbs up from us as a wheelchair accessible venue.
Once Upon A Tart, King Street, Merchant City
Once Upon A Tart is a cool little cake shop in Merchant City which also serves sandwiches and wraps but the main focus is the HUGE display of cakes. The counter is crammed with all sorts of pretty cakes and I felt like a kid in a toy shop! Ooh and the portions are enormous too so make sure if you are going to visit that you have left plenty of room for cake! There are no steps at the entrance to the building which is a bonus and there is plenty of room to maneuver around inside. There is also a very accessible bathroom for wheelchair users putting this to the top of the wheelchair friendly list so far!
The Butterfly and The Pig & The Tearooms, Bath Street
The Butterfly and The Pig is situated in Glasgow city centre this venue offers a tearoom for tea and cake which is very popular for hen parties and baby showers. With its shabby chic interior, mismatched furniture and vintage wallpaper it’s a nice place. The massive drawback here is that it is set in an old building on Sauchiehall Street which can only be accessed via the external stone steps. When inside the bathrooms are also on an upper level and there is no dedicated disabled bathroom. Definitely on our not friendly list for wheelchair users.
Bread meats Bead, St Vincent Street
Bread Meats Bread is located on St Vincent Street and is delicious! As the name suggests this is a burger restaurant where the focus isn’t on being fancy it is on being yummy! In addition to the burgers there are lots of extremely lush sides I bet you struggle to pick. However, the firsts drawback is that you can’t book a table and secondly, access for someone in a wheelchair is difficult. There is a small step to gain access then once inside space it tight. And the bathrooms are upstairs meaning that is you have mobility issues it would be a struggle and those in wheelchairs wouldn’t be able to use at all. So, I am afraid that this is on our not so friendly list.
The Hug and Pint, Great Western Road
The Hug and Pint is a vegan bar, eatery and music venue also situated in Glasgow’s West End. The emphasis here is that they offer an ever changing 8 item vegan menu which is pretty cool. However, there is a large step to get to the double doors at the entrance followed by another six (large) steps to get inside. Once inside there is probably adequate room but the toilet is too small for wheelchair users and is not very accessible. So this is another one on our not friendly list I am afraid.
Old Saltys, Byres Road
If you love fish and chip but like to eat fancy then Old Saltys is your place! The food is delicious and these serve a very good sized portion of fish and chips, and the pies are also lovely too! It is only a café and does not have a large selection of alcoholic drinks to choose from but does have the essentials like wine and beer! In terms of access the entrance is street level so getting in it not a problem but if you are unable to transfer from your wheelchair to a booth or bar stool then this is not an option for you. There is however a disabled toilet but as this is placed right behind the access area this isn’t the easiest to access. So this one hasn’t made into either list, it is completely dependent on each individual.
SmoakBBQ, Royal Exchange Square
SmoakBBQ has so many choices on the menu you will struggle to pick! This venue has some excellent choices for a meat lover! I would highly recommend the truffled mac and cheese with any of the sides, it was delicious! However, I have to say this is on my not friendly list for wheelchair users. On approach, there is a very steep ramp which then, in turn, gets steeper and slips and you end up face to face with a customer as the end is at the table. Not a very gracious way to enter the restaurant I am sure you would agree. Once inside there is a disabled toilet which is very accessible but moving around isn’t ideal.
Having spent some time looking the options that are available to wheelchair users in Glasgow I would say that I feel that we are not doing enough and that Disabled Access in Glasgow should not be an afterthought. While it is great that some places are accessible it is apparent that lots aren’t which is disappointing.
Each wheelchair user should have the same options to them as I do as an able-bodied person. With automatic operators and push pads and other technology on the market readily available to each business I think it is shameful that business do not cater for the 10 million disabled and sincerely hope that more is done to make these small improvements. This could change someone’s life and open up a whole new world for them.
Sources: Euans Blog: https://www.euansguide.com/reviews/scotland/glasgow-city-of/glasgow/