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Blackburn bus station mobility scooter row kicks off

A row has broken out between a council and an over-50s group over the lack of allocated spaces for large mobility scooters at a new bus station.

Brian Todd, chairman of Blackburn with Darwen Older Person’s Forum, has accused borough management of being ‘offensive’ over their refusal to make official provision for parking the larger version of the mobility scooter at the £5million public transport hub.

Councillor Phil Riley, the council’s regeneration boss, said the mobility scooters could obstruct other passengers and the borough could not accept responsibility for their protection from damage and theft.

Mr Todd responded: “There is no problem with the smaller mobility scooters which can be taken on buses. The larger version is too big. We have been asking the council to allocate spaces for them by the white wall at the Church Street / Salford end of the bus station. There is plenty room there and these mobility scooters are vital to many disabled and elderly passengers.”

He continued: “It is no good leaving them in the market which closes at 5pm if people are going out for the day. The council’s attitude is offensive and may well breach the human rights of users who should insure their own mobility scooters.”

Cllr Riley commented: “We have offered secure accommodation in the market a few yards away. The council cannot take responsibility for the security of mobility scooters left on the bus station and they are large vehicles which could obstruct other passengers. We are looking at other solutions.”

Chris Smith, bus station manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “Our bus stations don’t have formal facilities for storage of mobility scooters.”

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