Disabled football fans let down by the Premier League

Disabled Access at Football Stadiums
Disabled Access at Football Stadiums

Every person who owes their independence to a wheelchair or mobility scooter knows that some businesses just aren’t accessible to the disabled. There’s a certain amount of understanding if the necessary work would put genuine financial pressure on a small firm. But what about when the business in question has just scored a three-year TV deal worth an eye-watering £5.136 billion?

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Premier League clubs are failing their disabled fans in a number of ways. The most shocking revelation is the fact that only Swansea City and Leicester City offer the number of wheelchair spaces recommended by the good practice guide Accessible Stadia. That’s just two of the 20 top-flight clubs. The commission has warned legal action is an option if failures to provide adequate access breach the Equalities Act 2010.

Level Playing Field has now called for the Premier League to take control of the problem and order its clubs to right the wrongs that have been allowed to slip through the net. David Bernstein, the charity’s president and a former Football Association chair, said: “The clubs don’t do it because disabled provision costs money, and they raise the issue of having old grounds. But given the money at the top of the game now, this is indefensible.”

Here at Pro Rider Mobility, we understand how important it is for disabled people to be able to enjoy the everyday activities and outings that able-bodied people take for granted. Which is why we stock quality electric wheelchairs, class 2 mobility scooters and class 3 mobility scooters, which are designed to offer maximum freedom and comfort.

Young people adopt mobility scooters as a cheap alternative to cars

Mobility Scooter Youth
Mobility Scooter Youth

Mobility scooters were, of course, originally invented to help people with disabilities or infirmities get around and give them back a measure of independence. However, an entirely new demographic has also taken to driving around on mobility scooters. It seems that some young people have adopted the scooters as a means of getting around town and between villages.

The main advantage of mobility scooters for the young and able-bodied is their affordability. Not only are they much cheaper to buy than a car, they are also far more affordable to run: they’re not directly affected by the rising price of petrol, you don’t have to pay road tax on them and you don’t need a license to drive them.

There’s some debate over whether it’s technically legal to drive a mobility scooter without a disability. Some politicians have even called for the government to introduce clearer guidelines to prevent younger people from driving the vehicles. This seems slightly mean-spirited though. After all, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing that young people are finding inventive ways to cope in an age of rising transport costs.

Of course, it is worth considering how safe it is to let younger (potential more reckless) drivers use mobility scooters. As we discussed in a previous blog entry, mobility scooter-related accidents are on the rise. However, that’s not to say that we need to ban certain demographics from using the vehicles. Mandatory training is another valid solution to the issue.

Wherever you stand on the issue of young people riding mobility scooters, there’s no denying that the culture around the vehicles is changing. More and more people see them as a legitimate means of transportation, which can only lead to more varied designs, wider adoption and greater acceptance of users. That’s a good thing for existing scooter drivers regardless of age!

Would mandatory mobility scooter training improve road safety?

Mobility Scooter Training
Mobility Scooter Training

We don’t tend to think of mobility scooters as a particularly dangerous form of transport; with a top speed of approximately 10 mph, it’s hard to imagine one ever causing a significant amount of damage. However, one MP is calling for the government to introduce mandatory mobility scooter training. Alison Seabeck, the MP for Plymouth Moor View, has asserted that the government needs to respond to an increase in the number of mobility scooter-related accidents. She points to the fact that last year, five mobility scooter users were killed and a further 17 injured.

But is it really fair to blame the drivers? Seabeck acknowledges that at least part of the problem is the “poor roadworthiness” of some scooters. If this is the case, surely the companies selling unsafe scooters have to shoulder some of the blame.

Here at Pro Rider Mobility, we are confident in the safety of all our scooters. Not only that, but we’re confident they’ll remain roadworthy for years after you buy them. That’s one of the reasons all our vehicles come with our five-star warranty. However, if “poor roadworthiness” is causing so many accidents, it seems the same cannot be said of every seller. It just goes to show the importance of buying a mobility scooter from a source you can trust and not settling for cheaper, more unsafe models.

Of course, that’s not to say that mobility scooter training shouldn’t be implemented as well. Here at Pro Rider Mobility, we support anything that ensures our drivers’ safety and helps them feel comfortable on the roads. If state-funded training can do that, who are we to argue? In the meantime, remember to improve your road safety by only buying your mobility equipment from businesses you know you can trust!

SELF PROPELLED ALUMINIUM FOLDING LIGHTEIGHT WHEELCHAIR

Self Propelled Light Weight Wheelchair

When you need help from a wheelchair to get yourself around, you need a solution that offers you the maximum freedom, independence and comfort possible. These elements are all things that Pro Rider are looking to provide with their latest lightweight wheelchair offering, which is designed to be as user-friendly as possible.

This self-propelled model is light enough to make it easy to be pushed comfortably in front of someone as they walk along, and manoeuvrable enough to negotiate the real-world obstacles that you find when you are out and about. There is also a sturdy parking break to ensure that when you want to come to a full stop that is exactly what you do; no rolling away dramas to be had here.

For the comfort of the wheelchair user themselves the seat has been designed with extra comfort nylon, and there are full length padded armrests to make sure that the user can rest comfortably when sat in the chair. There are height adjustable foot rests that also can swing away or be removed completely for those times when they are not required.

Once the wheelchair is finished with it simply folds away, taking up minimal storage space, which means it can be stored just about anywhere in the home without becoming intrusive.

Overall this Pro Rider chair is an excellent choice for those who are looking for the flexibility and convenience of a lightweight chair, allied with solid build quality and enough comfort to mean that spending long periods in it a pleasure.

This wheelchair is available to purchase on our website.

View the complete Pro Rider range of wheelchairs here.

What are the legal requirements for mobility scooter owners?

Shop Rider Toledo Mobility Scooter

If you struggle with walking or have issues with fatigue, a mobility scooter can be a truly life-changing purchase. Yet, if you are new to these devices, you will probably want a bit of an introduction before you dive in and purchase your first one. In particular, you may want to know the various legal requirements of handling this vehicle. Here is the essential information.

Tax and insurance

In the UK, the government does not demand any vehicle tax be paid for mobility scooters. You will, however, have to register your mobility scooter as a class three invalid carriage before you can take it out. You are also not obliged to insure your mobility scooter under British law but, given the value of the vehicle, it is highly recommended that you do. The best scooter dealers will offer you insurance as part of your package.

Where can I drive?

Mobility scooters can travel on the road up to speeds of eight miles per hour, though this is restricted to certain types of road. You cannot, for instance, travel in a bus lane, cycle lane, motorway or dual carriage way with a speed limit above 50 mph. You can travel on any footpath up to speeds of four mph.

Where do I park?

Mobility scooters follow all the same parking regulations as other vehicles. You cannot leave your scooter unattended on the footpath or in a pedestrian area.

A mobility scooter is a great buy for anybody who needs help getting around. Ensuring you know the ins and outs of using one will help you make the best choice when you shop for yours.