Boy in wheelchair ‘denied access to tram’ in Blackpool

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A mum who visited Blackpool with her disabled son was upset when they were denied entry to a tram.

Oliver Venner, two, who has cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis and is blind, visited the Blackpool Tower on Saturday with mum Laura, dad David, twin sister Maisie and brother and sister Thomas and Abbie.

But when the family tried to take a tram from St Chads to the Pleasure Beach, where they had parked, Laura said she was told by a conductor that they would not be able to bring Oliver’s special needs buggy on board.

Laura, 36, who lives in Hunslet, Leeds, said: “I felt they discriminated against my son. They made no attempt to move the people that were standing in the wheelchair bay.

“It kicked my confidence big time. I just feel really upset.”

She said her husband and other children volunteered to walk while she and Oliver took the tram back to the car so she could change him and do exercises to help with his cystic fibrosis, but she was still unable to get on.

Blackpool Transport said the family was probably denied access due to safety concerns.

She said: “All of our drivers and conductors have received disability awareness training – both hidden and physical. Saturday night was one of our busiest this season, and the trams were at full capacity. Our staff are also trained in risk management, and it is highly likely that access could have been denied due to safety concerns, as the trams were so very busy.”