Survey reveals that thousands of businesses will fail to comply with a new law requiring the removal of physical barriers to disabled.

In four out of five shopping centres disabled shoppers have major problems accessing shops, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and pubs, a survey has found.

The NOP survey for the Disability Rights Commission found that the majority of buildings are still not accessible to disabled people.

The news comes just three days before new anti-discrimination laws are due to come into force which will force businesses to remove physical barriers to disabled access.

The survey found that nearly a quarter of the 88 major high street outlets surveyed were rated as poor or very poor by disabled shoppers, and that a third of toilets were difficult or impossible to access.

The Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires the removal of physical barriers preventing disabled access to buildings providing services for the public.

This means building owners will have to address barriers caused by steps, heavy doors, bad lighting, lack of signage and lack of colour contrast.

Bert Massie, chairman of DRC said: "While it's clear that some shops and services are getting it right for the disabled consumer there are those that have done little or nothing to prepare for the legislation. For them there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide as disabled people's complaints will now be backed by law."