Staff at Alton Towers shouted’she can’t walk’ and turned her sister away from a rollercoaster. The woman, Becky Cheetham, had paid 40 to visit the theme park with her girlfriend Lucy and sister Hannah, who has cerebral palsy. She said that Hannah was told by staff that she would need to walk 25 metres unaided in order to board the ride. “The lady then turned to her coworker and shut the door behind us,” she added. Notably,
‘During the wait, no-one questioned Hannah’s level of disability or her ability to transfer unaided or if she could walk,’ said a customer service worker. She added that when the time came, two different workers watched me carry Hannah onto the ride. A worker came up to her (not Hannah) and asked him/her whether she was able to walk. They then tried to continue their day, but encountered problems on the teacup ride due to crowds in the queue. The girl said she began to cry
A member of staff insisted the women get off and get back on, despite the difficulties entailing for Hannah. The women were unable to find the entry point and were told by an employee: ‘Oh yeah we used to have disabled access, but we don’t anymore’. Not one person spoke to, or apologised to Hannah herself, said Becky. “Not our fault, yours,” said Kate McBirnie, Head of Product Excellence at Alton Towers. She has since said the park
‘At Alton Towers Resort, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive resort and we really value the feedback that Hannah and Becky have sent to us, and also in the video that they have taken time to create. They have certainly listened and want to do better,’ she added. She further said she has invited her back to discuss the changes she can make. “We look forward to showing them how committed we are to making sure that their experience isn’t repeated,” she continued.