Sue Hitchings and her husband Robert visited Knowle Post Office in Wells Road on Saturday to pay bills and to buy stamps.
But as they were queuing to be served a staff member approached them and said Mrs Hitchings would have to wait outside because her wheelchair was taking up too much space.
The couple believe Mrs Hitchings was discriminated against because of her disability.Well, of course they do! However, the postmaster has to consider other things:
But the sub-postmaster who runs the post office has told The Post that banning large electric wheelchairs is not discrimination but a "health and safety issue".It's quite simple - they can't fit in the shop! Naturally, that doesn't stop the usual disability advocates from demanding the moon on a stick:
Cheri Wilkins, chief executive officer of West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL), said that in an ideal world everyone with an impairment would have access to all public places and services.
She said the Equality Act 2010 was a positive step towards a reduction in discrimination, but believes there is still a lot more that needs to be done.
"This is a common problem that arises around access for disabled people," she said. "Many people do need to use wider wheelchairs and if a shop aisle is not wide enough, it does exclude them."Well, Cheri, sweetie, just what are shopkeepers supposed to do? Apply for an exemption from the laws of physics?
You really should have learned at school that two objects can't occupy the same space at the same time...
The sub-postmaster of Knowle Post Office, who refused to give his name to The Post, claims he previously checked with The Post Office Ltd and Bristol City Council that the set-up of his shop was acceptable.
He said the aisles between the Londis convenience store part of the shop and the post office part were wide enough for manual wheelchairs but not wide enough for electric wheelchairs, like the one Mrs Hitchings uses.
He said: "Large electric wheelchairs don't fit down the narrow aisles because they are too wide and there's no turning space for them.
"We go out of our way to help all our customers, especially those with disabilities.
"I have asked many people in electric or motorised wheelchairs to stay outside while we get them what they want, or a family member gets it for them from the post office.
"We have had people in motorised wheelchairs lose control in the past. One customer had his foot run over, another was hit by a wheelchair and once a wheelchair user collided with our lottery machine. It is a health and safety issue.
"I've explained many, many times to many people and normally they don't have a problem. I also informed Post Office Ltd and the city council about it, as we are providing a public service. Neither of them raised any concerns."It comes down, as it always does, to 'reasonable access'.
Sadly, some people just aren't reasonable! The law should maybe have accounted for that...