A disabled OAP has hit out after being turned away from a KFC drive-thru by staff who refused to serve him — because he was on a mobility SCOOTER.
David Irving, 71, was left dismayed after being refused food while visiting his local restaurant.
He had arrived at the fast-food chain to bag eight pieces of chicken after his wife told him they had nothing in for tea on September 4 this year.
But due to his fear of enclosed spaces, he decided to use the drive-thru on his mobility scooter which is registered with the DVLA and is permitted to travel on the roads.
He was informed by a staff member they wouldn’t serve him because of the company’s health and safety policy which forbids mobility scooters from using the lane dedicated for vehicles.
After being turned away at the hatch at the Sheffield Lane Top restaurant, David complained to the head office.
He claims to have been told it was the KFC company policy not to serve people in mobility scooters as they are not insured.
David, from Sheffield, South Yorks., feels he is being treated differently as a result of health issues that are no fault of his own.
He said: “It is just discrimination to me.
“When I pulled up the person serving just closed the window.
“My scooter has brake lights on it and it is insured and everything.
“I said would you serve me if I put my big cover-up and he still said no.”
David uses the scooter as he suffers from a range of physical ailments including arthritis, knee problems, a weak heart and an asbestos-related condition called pleural plaques.
His scooter also helps him with the mental health conditions he has, including agoraphobia and depression.
He said: “I have been ill now for 15 years and my scooter has been a godsend.
“It is my freedom to get around.
“They said why can’t I go into the shop but I explained I have agoraphobia and I can’t go in strange, busy or enclosed spaces.
“I also suffer terribly with depression – just thinking about the way they treated me makes me upset.”
David, who has two grown-up children and two grown-up step-children, does drive but believes he has to make a stand against KFC’s policy across over 800 restaurants, which he believes contravenes anti-discrimination laws.
However, a KFC spokesperson said: “We understand their frustration, but the safety of all our guests has to come first, which is why in our drive-thrus, we only serve customers in an enclosed vehicle, like a car or van.
“To make up for the disappointment, we’re going to offer the customer a free meal on us next time they visit.
“If a customer has any difficulty with coming into a restaurant, we’d encourage them to call ahead or speak to a member of staff who’ll be happy to help.”