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Waterstones

82 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6EQ, United Kingdom | 020 7636 1577 | Website
219
306 likes

306

Not a happy shopping experience for a wheelchair user

2

3 likes

Visit date:

This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair

Overview

I didn't enjoy my visit to this branch of Waterstones. All sorts of unpleasant difficulties right from the front door. Not recommended for wheelchair users. Too little space to manoeuvre within the shop because the display tables are so huge and the gaps between them so tiny.

Transport & Parking

2.5

The nearest step-free station is King's Cross, which is quite a distance away. Several bus routes will drop you very nearby in Gower St.

Access

2

Step-free access at most entrances but no automatic doors & the doors are heavy & stiff & very hard to open if you're in a wheelchair. One lift was out of order, and I was breezily informed by a member of staff that "it's usually not working". The other lift is tiny, and grubby. When you emerge from that lift in the basement, beware - there's a steep ramp leading from it, I emerged backwards much too fast, not expecting the ramp. Very little room to manoeuvre throughout the shop, the display tables are huge and the gaps between them are too small. Whole areas of the shop are inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Toilets

1

There is an "accessible" toilet which is almost useless for wheelchair users. If you are lucky, you will find it open and the access code hand-written on a piece of paper stuck on the door. You will need to type the access code onto the security lock if you can. Inside it's cramped, far too little room to manoeuvre, not even enough room to wash a hamster. There is no emergency cord. This is completely useless! If you fall over you will not be able to summon assistance. It can be a life-and-death matter in the case of a fall and serious injury.

Staff

2.5

The staff were friendly but curiously disengaged, maybe they were demoralised by their own toilets.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

The lack of an emergency cord in the "accessible" toilet could expose Waterstones to legal difficulties if anyone were to fall over in that toilet, injure themselves, and be unable to summon assistance.

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