Category Archives: Mobility Scooters

Mobility Roadshow Hits the Silverstone Tarmac

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This year the annual Mobility Roadshow will be coming live later this month from the Silverstone Circuit. The Mobility Roadshow and Get Going Live! event ambassador this year is writer and sports enthusiast Henrietta Freeman from Milton Keynes. Henrietta, age 21, is wheelchair dependent and lives with an undiagnosed progressive condition.

For this year’s event, happening May 26-28, Henrietta will be joined by an elite group of dedicated volunteers who promote the events nationwide and raise awareness for organiser Mobility Choice. The event is free to attend and enjoy for people of all ages living with any form of restricted mobility.

On top of being able to check out all the new mobility aids, inventions and devices being released, visitors will also get the chance to hit the road and test drive a selection of adapted and wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVS) around the extremely famous Silverstone race circuit! The Roadshow is a ‘hands-on’ event, with opportunities to test drive adapted and converted vehicles, either as a driver or passenger.

In an interview with local press, Henrietta said: “Over the years of attending The Mobility Roadshow, I have started to become really nosey and I love finding new gadgets and inventions which can benefit me and other people with similar requirements. As a non-driver, I find the passenger test drives particularly informative as I can compare a variety of vehicles with different adaptations and accessibility options.”

Being a lifelong Liverpool Football club supporter and sports fan, Henrietta is the perfect choice for the role of ambassador this year. Her mobility issues mean she is unable to drive herself, but she does enjoy the ride. She told the press: “I travel upfront in my side entry Volkswagen Transporter Wav which is superb. Having recently lost the ability to speak and movement below my neck it allows me to lead as independent a life as possible, with help from my Canine Partner, Zebo.”

Henrietta is also keen to promote the Mobility Roadshow accessible Sports Zone this year. Having played a lot of football herself previously, as well as competing in high level athletics competitions, she understands how important sport and exercise are. As well as being a great way to get fit – they can also be great fun too!

Henrietta added: “I would encourage anyone to take up sports and think the Mobility Roadshow sports zone provides ideal opportunities for people living with disabilities to have a go.”

The Mobility Roadshow is part of registered charity ‘Mobility Choice’ that was established in February 1988, and was set up to help advance the independent mobility of disabled and older people. The charity are responsible for organising and running the Mobility Roadshow amongst other activities that help promote their cause such as setting up and facilitating driving programmes and tuition for disabled and older drivers to encourage safe driving.

The Mobility Roadshow is an annual event that was originally set up by the Department for Transport in 1983. It started off as a biennially run event, but moved to an annal event in 1999, after the Mobility Choice charity assumed responsibility for the show in 1998.

For more details on the event visit www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk

Mobility Scooter Parking causes issues for Disabled Lady

Jeanette Perry from Gosport was ordered to remove her mobility scooters from outside her home, despite being moved to her one-bedroom council home because it was suitable for her disability.

Her local council told Ms Perry that she cannot keep them outside her home, but instead offered her the use of a garage to store her scooters. Unfortunately, the garage is situated a mile away from her home, but Mrs Perry relies on her mobility scooters to get around.

In an interview with local press, Ms Perry said that it has made her confused and fearful of losing her home if she carries on keeping her scooters outside the property.

Since moving to her one-bedroom house earlier this year, the 58-year-old has been told by Gosport Borough Council staff that she must either move her scooters to the garage provided, or she will need to get rid of them entirely.

Following her complaint to the council, Ms Perry was told that she could keep her scooters outside her home by council chief executive Ian Lycett. However, she is still being told by different council staff members that she cannot.

In her press interview she said, ‘I am so confused and it is adding more stress to my life. First of all they said I can’t have them outside my house, then Mr Lycett sent a letter which said I could but I am still being told I am not allowed.

So worried is Ms Perry over the scooter parking issue that she has not been able to settle in properly to her new home for fear of the council re-locating her to another property. This latest house move has been her third in 18 months, something that she really does not want to go though again.

Ms Perry’s previous home was a two-bedroom property that was considered too big for her. After being shown her new one-bedroom home, the council had failed to mention having any issues with her mobility scooters. She told local press: ‘I had no idea it was going to be such a problem.

The garage that the council has offered Ms Perry is too far away for her to walk, and even then her disability would mean she wouldn’t be able to open the garage unless it was installed with an automatic door.
As well as the mobility scooter parking issues, Ms Perry has also been told that a storage box of litter-picking equipment must also be removed. Ms Perry volunteers her spare time to picking up litter in the area, but fears she will be forced to give this up if her equipment is taken away.

According to a letter sent from Gosport Council to Ms Perry, residents are not allowed to block communal areas but added the area outside her property is within its boundary and not considered communal land.

Ms Perry has been left confused over the parking issues, and is still waiting for the situation to be resolved.

Man, 92, Rides Mobility Scooter On 70mph Road

On Friday 11th March, Sussex police were alerted by a concerned motorist that there was an elderly man riding a mobility scooter down the carriageway of the A2011 near Crawley. The motorist flagged down a police car at around 12.45 pm to report the OAP and said that he was very concerned for his safety.

The 92-year-old pensioner found himself on the busy 70mph dual carriageway after taking a wrong turn. Passing motorists spotted the elderly gentleman, and it wasn’t long before a concerned driver alerted the police.

PC Katie Breeds responded to the call for help, and said the pensioner was found in a ‘very confused’ state. PC Breeds said: “He was very confused and really didn’t know where he was. We sat him in the back of our police car and waited for a colleague in a van to collect the mobility scooter. Then we delivered the scooter and driver back home to his warden-assisted accommodation in Crawley.”

PC Breeds also commented: “It’s a bust 70mph dual carriageway and we are grateful to the motorist for stopping. We caught up with the man heading away from the M23 in the A2011 Crawley Avenue.”

Safely back at home, the elderly gentleman is now recovering from his ordeal.

Rules for mobility scooters

In the UK, you do not need a driving licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. There are two categories of mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, and only certain types can be driven on the road.

There are Class 2 and Class 3 invalid carriages, and only Class 3 are allowed to drive on the road. Class 2 invalid carriages can only be ridden on pavements, except for where there isn’t a pavement, such as a country lane for example. Class 2 vehicles have a maximum speed of 4mph. Class 3 vehicles have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road. Class 3 invalid carriages must be registered, but you do not need to register a class 2 invalid carriage.

To drive a mobility scooter you must be over the age of 14 years.

You risk being stopped by the police if your Class 3 invalid carriage doesn’t have the following features:

• a maximum unladen weight of 150kg
• a maximum width of 0.85 metres
• a device to limit its speed to 4mph
• a maximum speed of 8mph
• an efficient braking system
• front and rear lights and reflectors
• direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
• an audible horn
• a rear view mirror
• an amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway

Class 3 vehicles are not allowed to drive on bus lanes, motorways or cycle only lanes. It is also recommended that drivers avoid using dual carriageways that have a speed limit of over 50mph.

14,000 Disabled People Lose Their Mobility Cars Due To Government Cuts

Nearly 14,000 disabled people have had their mobility cars taken away following government welfare cuts to disability services.

Disabled drivers are allowed to lease adapted cars, mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs through the Motability Scheme, with the aid of government funding. However, due to recent changes brought in by the government, nearly 14,000 disabled people have lost their cars.

According to figures released by the BBC, around half the people being reassessed for their disability support have had to hand back their Motability vehicles, many of which would have been specially adapted to meet the needs of their disabled owners. Campaigners have warned that this could result in many people with disabilities losing their independence.

In response to the concerns voiced by disability groups and the press, the government state that the new process is fair, and if people are not happy with the decision they can appeal.

Currently around 650,000 people make use of the Motability Scheme using their government-funded mobility allowance. The scheme also covers adaptations needed for the individual client according to their needs, including modifications such as adding wheelchair hoists or adapting cars to operate using hand controls.

The new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) that has started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) requires all new claimants as well as existing DLA claimants to attend a face-to-face assessment to establish their level of allowance. People are scored on a points basis, and only those scoring 12 points or over will qualify for PIP support, which is £57.45 per week at the current level.

Of those people who were originally claiming the higher rate of DLA, 31,200 have been reassessed for PIP so far, and only 55% of those people have managed to keep their car. That equates to just 17,300 people qualifying for the Motability Scheme. The remaining 45%, or 13,900 people, had failed to score enough points to qualify them for the scheme, so they have lost their cars as a result.
There has been a lot of criticism levelled at the new reassessment tests under PIP, with many disabled people claiming they were being assessed by people with either zero or very little medical knowledge. One lady named Christine Mitchell had to attend an assessment when she was moved over from DLA to PIP. Christine was born with spina bifida and is also an amputee, but despite carrying these quite obvious disabilities, she claimed that her assessor had absolutely no clue about what she was doing. She didn’t even know what spina bifida was.

Christine’s disabilities mean that she can only walk a very few steps, but her assessor didn’t seem to understand Christine’s condition at all, and as a result she didn’t score the required points. She made an appeal against the decision and eventually won, but felt that she should never have been put in that position in the first place.

According to government figures, around 360,000 people will eventually be transferred over from DLA and will have to undergo PIP reassessments, including those currently on an “indefinite” or “lifetime” DLA award with permanent disabilities. Children currently under DLA will remain as they are until the age of 16 where they will be reassessed for PIP. Those who were aged 65 or over on 8 April 2013 are also unaffected.

In an interview with the BBC, Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, told the BBC “being disabled costs money, but many people are being denied the benefit because they are not assessed properly. When people lose their cars it can be a massive blow which impacts on their ability to remain independent, take part in their communities or get and keep a job.”

The government hopes to save £2bn as a result of the switch from DLA to PIPs.

Police Launch Mobility Scooter Safety Event In Manchester

Due to the alarming rise in accidents involving mobility scooters in recent years, Greater Manchester Police organised a mobility scooter awareness session on 4th December.

The session took place at Clayton Brook, and was open to anybody who already used a scooter and for those who are considering buying one.

Police officers were available all day to offer practical advice and guidance on road safety aspects of riding mobility scooters, as well as giving users practical exercises and practice sessions to inexperienced riders using scooters without the extra hazards of pedestrians and moving traffic.

According to research figures, there have been 15 reported incidents over the past five years that involved mobility scooters, five of which were fatal – four of those occurring in the past two years alone, two serious injuries and eight slight injuries.

This pilot session run by the Greater Manchester Police, was held with the hope of more being run in the future to better enable mobility scooter users keep safe on the roads and avoid accidents.

Inspector Susan Redfern from the Roads Policing Unit in Chadderton commented in a press interview with Rochdale Online: “Mobility scooters offer users a sense of freedom and while we do not want to discourage people from using them, we do want to ensure that they are used safely.

“We are finding that many mobility scooter users haven’t driven in years, if at all, and their knowledge of the Highway Code is therefore limited.

“By taking a bit of time to familiarise themselves with the rules of the road, users will have more confidence to enjoy the outside world and we can hopefully reduce the number of collisions.”

While there will always be a level of risk associated with any form of motorised transport, it is helpful that Manchester Police are trying to raise awareness of the dangers of using mobility scooters, and want to help reduce those risks by offering some common sense training to anyone considering using a scooter for the first time, as well as helping existing users become more familiar with potential hazards they may encounter while out and about on the roads.

Mobility scooters offer disabled people a great opportunity for a better quality of life, so courses like these can help scooter users become more confident while out and about, while alerting them to potential dangers, and ways to avoid accidents along the way.

Greater Manchester Police are not the only force to offer safety help and guidance for mobility scooter users. Many areas are now getting involved in raising awareness, such as Norfolk Constabulary, who in partnership with Halfords, has also launched a scheme called Safe Scoot to help raise awareness of safety issues.

Safe Scoot was launched at the Royal Norfolk Show back in 2010. It was set up as a best practice guide to running awareness courses, and even enlisted popular Benidorm actress Sheila Reid to star in a short film they made as part of the scheme.

As a result of the Norfolk Constabulary’s pilot scheme their Crime Prevention Officers are now advising the Government’s Transport Committee on how best to address mobility scooter safety issues.

Golf Course makes a U-Turn on ban regarding mobility scooters

Beverley pasture masters golf course near Hull, earlier this year placed a ban on the use of motorised vehicles on the course, including golf buggies and mobility scooters. You may remember the article we wrote on it.

However, after receiving a number of complains a consultation was held, and the ban on mobility scooters has been successfully lifted by town pasture masters on the Beverley Westwood’s golf course.

It was found that the ban had prevented several regular members from playing because they needed mobility scooters to get around. After the club had written to the members about the rule, the pasture masters who supervise the course were made aware of the issue, and made the decision to lift the ban to allow mobility scooter users back onto the course.

One local regular golfer Brian Yates, 77, was interviewed by the local press, and stated that he was delighted at the hearing the news.

A mobility scooter user himself, Mr Yates, of Lockington, told the press: “I have been using my buggy because of my heart problems over the past four-and-a-half years. I have been a member of Beverley Golf Club for quite a number of years and have a lot of friends there so I was pleased when I was told I could come back. This could help people in the future, too.”

The chairman of Beverly Pasture Masters, Allan English, has confirmed that mobility scooters would be permitted on the Westwood course, but that golf buggies would not allowed.

In an interview with local press Mr English said: “It became an issue this year because the club wanted to use golf buggies to hire them out and we said no, it was not the type of course for riding buggies. We are not discriminating against people with disabilities. Mobility scooters are allowed, but it’s up to them to be insured. They are on rough pasture when not on the fairway and it’s at their own risk.”

The popular golf course is set in stunning countryside, and the nature of the terrain as well as the presence of grazing cattle means motorised golf buggies would not be suitable on health and safety grounds.

Mr English expressed concerns that the rough terrain could hide many hazards such as rabbit holes and unexpected obstacles that cause golf buggies to tip over. The pasture masters also have to prioritise the grazing cattle, and this is why golf buggies are banned, and also why there is a 15-yard limit for vehicles in place.

Clearer rules demanded following mobility scooter incident

A 77 year old man has passed away following a collision with a vehicle in Market Harborough on Sunday.

Currently the law on mobility scooters states that some are allowed on roads and others are allowed on dual carriageways

Mobility shop owners have said changes need to be made to the current law.

Helen Walmsley, a driving instructor from Syston said “there are a number of risks involved with the vehicles being on the road
,If people suddenly come behind something that’s doing lower than 10 mph, it will cause a hazard.”

The man who was killed has not yet been named by police. No one else was injured in the collision.

An overview from the Governments own website on the laws of mobility scooters states:

You don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. Only certain types can be driven on the road.

Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs come in 2 categories:

‘class 2 invalid carriages’ – these can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4mph
‘class 3 invalid carriages’ – these can be used on the road, and have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road

You don’t need to register a class 2 invalid carriage.

You must register Class 3 invalid carriages.

You must be 14 or over to drive a class 3 invalid carriage.

Rules for class 3 invalid carriages

Class 3 invalid carriages must have the following features:

a maximum unladen weight of 150kg
a maximum width of 0.85 metres
a device to limit its speed to 4mph
a maximum speed of 8mph
an efficient braking system
front and rear lights and reflectors
direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
an audible horn
a rear view mirror
an amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway

You could be stopped by the police if your Class 3 invalid carriage doesn’t have these features.

Driving on the road

You can only drive on the road in a class 3 invalid carriage. The maximum speed is 8mph.

You can’t drive on bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes or motorways. You should avoid using dual carriageways with a speed limit of over 50mph.

You must use an amber flashing light for visibility if you use a class 3 invalid carriage on a dual carriageway.

Road rules

You must follow the Highway Code if you drive your mobility scooter on the road.

Driving on footpaths and parking

All mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs can legally travel at a maximum of 4mph on footpaths or in pedestrian areas.

You can’t drive any type of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on cycle paths marked ‘cycle only’.
Parking

All normal parking restrictions apply to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs.

Your vehicle shouldn’t be left on a footpath or pedestrian area on its own if it gets in the way of other pedestrians, including wheelchair users and people with prams or pushchairs.

Eyesight requirements

There is no legal eyesight requirement to drive mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs, but you should be able to read a car’s registration number from a distance of 12.3 metres (40 feet).

You must check that you can still do this regularly.

You might have to pay compensation if you have an accident and poor eyesight was part of the cause.

Use by non-disabled people

If you are aren’t disabled, you can only drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair if you’re:

demonstrating the vehicle before it’s sold
training a disabled user
taking the vehicle to or from maintenance or repair

Vehicle tax, registration and insurance

You don’t have to pay vehicle tax for any mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you still need to register class 3 invalid carriages.

To register a class 3 invalid carriage, complete form V55/4 for new vehicles, or V55/5 for used vehicles. You can get the forms from DVLA’s online ordering service.

Send the completed form to:
DVLA Swansea
SA99 1BE

You can’t license your class 3 invalid carriage online or at a Post Office.

Include evidence of the vehicle’s age (if available).
Insurance

You don’t need insurance for a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, although it’s recommended.

Official link to the government laws on mobility scooters
https://www.gov.uk/mobility-scooters-and-powered-wheelchairs-rules/driving-on-the-road

A drunken disabled man has been banned from his scooter

mobility scooters
An unconscious disabled man was found under the influence of alcohol at the wheel of his mobility scooter by a police community support officer.

Mr Yusef Khalifa 52 of Old Colwyn, Gwynedd, admitted he had polished off two bottles of wine before going out on his mobility scooter, Llandudno magistrates heard.

He admitted being in charge of a mechanically-propelled vehicle when he was three times over the drink drive limit and also admitted to having a folding knife.

He was found guilty and banned from driving any vehicle for six months.

Mr Yusef Khalifa was also handed a six-month community order, along with a fine and legal costs coming to a total of £385.

Thousands Of Mobility Scooter Miles For Ex-Soldier


49 year old veteran Mark Newton has already travelled round Wales, and set the world record for the longest distance
travelled on a mobility scooter, and he keeps on going.

Mark’s Military career came to an end after he suffered a leg injury, but now the former army tank driver
is travelling 11,000 miles around the country on a mobility scooter. His original website RoundWales.co.uk
now tracks his journey, and with his other ventures he has covered a whopping total of 17,300.24 Miles
raising £53,032.76 so far.

His current aim around the whole country is to take photos and note every military memorial in the United Kingdom,
with the money raised going to charity.

Currently he is going to be in Somerset over the next few months, with his cats in tow. His epic adventure could take
upto 10 years to complete.

You can keep track of Mark’s journey on his website RoundWales.co.uk and if you wish to donate, you can do this securely
via Virgin Money Giving. Mark is raising the money for Help For Heroes, SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and Lifeboats RNU.

Elderly Being Ripped Off When Buying Disabled Mobility Scooters

mobility scooters

With an ageing population on the rise, the demand for mobility scooters is also growing. However, a recent news feature said this is being seen by some retailers as an opportunity to take advantage of pensioners looking for new mobility scooters.

Prices for mobility scooters are reaching an all time high at £6,800 with some retailers, but are these high prices really justified?

Disabled Mobility Scooter Exploitation

Because there is such a demand for scooters from the elderly to enable them to keep their independence, and enjoy their old age in relative freedom, some unscrupulous retailers believe they can charge what they like for a new mobility scooter.

Viewed as a captive market, some retailers may be taking advantage of the desires of the elderly to carry on with their normal lives, and are slapping on higher price tags because they know they are not only selling the scooter itself, but also the idea of the freedom the scooter will allow the pensioners to have.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC), have openly accused scooter sellers of exploiting their position of trust, and taking full advantage of the fact that there is so little regulation in place regarding mobility scooters.

The NPC are one of the largest lobby groups for the elderly in Britain, and believe that pensioners are wide open to exploitation by retailers because of the ever rising demand in the market for scooters.

It is not only new mobility scooter sales that the NPC are concerned about. There is also a growing market for second-hand scooters, but with the lack of regulation in the market, and the ability for scooter owners to drive without a licence or any form of instruction or lessons, there is concerns over the safety aspect of second-hand sales.

Getting What You Pay For

With so many makes and models available on the market, the price you pay for a mobility scooter can range from under £1,000 for a basic model to the heady price of £6,800 for a model that is built for all-weathers with glass screen and full cover.

Although you can quite often find a better deal when you shop online, sometimes the price you pay will mean you assembling the scooter yourself once delivered. It pays to check the sales small print to make sure you know what you are paying for.

Even the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have weighed in on the issue. The official regulator has openly criticised two of the UK’s leading mobility scooter retailers, stating that they are restricting consumers ability to get good value for money.

The two companies that were named by the OFT are Pride Mobility, in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and Roma Medical Aids. Both companies were seen to have ‘infringed competition law’ with their sales practices.

Finding A Good Retailer

Despite the findings of the OFT, there are some very good retailers out there that are not out to rip off their elderly customers. The best way to find them is to shop around and compare prices, models and services available.

An example of a good mobility scooter buy was found by Doug Somerset, 63, from Bexleyheath. Doug has suffered with mobility issues for 20 years, relying on mobility scooters and wheelchairs.

The retired engineer paid £939 for his ProRider Road King mobility scooter, and he is very happy with his purchase. The Pro Rider Road King Scooter has a maximum speed of 8 mph, with a range of up to 35 miles, as well as a massive 1100 Watt motor.

The ProRider is one of the cheapest on the market, but the quality and build is of a very high standard, and suits Mr Somerset’s needs very well. However, Mr Somerset was not surprised to see a similar model on sale with other retailers for £2,500 or more.

In a recent newspaper interview, Mr Somerset said, “Disabled people and pensioners are being used as a licence to print money by some retailers. Many of these mobility scooters are pretty poorly made, with cheap components and the mark-up is astonishing. In some cases people are simply being ripped off. Something needs to be done about it.”

According to RICA, a charity that conducts consumer research for the disabled and elderly, there is an issue with the pricing of mobility scooters. Customers are confused about how much they should be paying for a scooter. There is such a huge variation in price that customers can be left bewildered.

RICA advise people to shop around for the best deals, and look closely at what is included in the price, particularly in terms of an assessment, warranty, servicing, delivery and assembly.