Disabled man turned away from McDonald's drive-thru

John Triffitt said he needed a drink to take his medication.

John Triffitt said he needed a drink to take his medication.

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A disabled man was refused service at a McDonald’s drive-through because he was riding a mobility scooter.

John Triffitt, a regular customer at the fast food restaurant’s Bridlington branch, suffered a panic attack after staff refused his order for a burger and drink.

John, 42, who has cerebral palsy, needed a drink to swallow his medication.

John, 42, who has cerebral palsy, needed a drink to swallow his medication.

The 42-year-old suffers from cerebral palsy and decided to use the drive-through because the restaurant was “chock-a-block” – and he needed a drink to swallow his medication.

John, of Matson Road, explained: “I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.

“I was starving and I needed to take my medication. If I don’t have it, I start shaking and panicking.

“I have to take painkillers as well to help with my legs. I have a bit of arthritis as well.”

McDonald's own website states disabled people with road-legal mobility scooters can use the drive-thru facility.

McDonald's own website states disabled people with road-legal mobility scooters can use the drive-thru facility.

After John placed his order and drove round to the payment window on December 6, staff told him they were unable to serve him.

He says workers told him the restaurant’s insurance policy prohibited them from serving him at the drive-through.

His mother, Tina Triffitt, was dismayed on hearing her son was denied his food.

She said: “He was upset and went home and had a panic attack – he got himself all worked up.

“I have a scooter as well and I was disgusted. John has complained to McDonald’s and he’s been in touch with Citizens Advice.”

Tina added that that McDonald’s own website states that disabled people can use the restaurant’s drive-through facility if the mobility scooters are road legal.

Tina said her son tried to explain that his scooter was road legal, but says staff “would not have it at all”.

“John has to take his medication three times a day - he wanted something to drink so he could take his medication.

“John is insured to go on the road.”

Now, John and his mother are concerned about other disabled people in Bridlington being wrongfully turned away from the drive-
through.

Tina said:“There are a lot of disabled people in Brid who use mobility scooters - are they going to treat them the same way?”

A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “Our drive-thru lanes are designed and built for motor vehicles that are roadworthy only.

“Customers on mobility scooters that are not designed for road use are welcome to bring their mobility scooter into the restaurant to be served.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion, staff did not recognise that the mobility scooter in question was designed for road use and therefore appropriate to travel through the drive-thru lanes.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this caused.”

But for John, the apology has come too little too late.

“I’m not sure if I’ll go back. I was a loyal customer, but I’m not sure now,” he said.