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Shopmobility launch funding appeal for mobility scooters in Luton


Shopmobility in Luton is appealing for donations to help support the service, following a £71,000 funding cut earlier in the year.Luton Shopmobility is participating in Localgiving’s ‘Grow Your Tenner’ campaign to raise funds to see resumption of the service on Saturdays.

Jayn Harris, manager of Shopmobility, explained: “We’re looking to raise £1,000 as a result of the campaign which will help us to expand the service. As a result of the cuts we’ve had to close on Saturdays, which is one of the busier days of the week and as a result we’ve left a lot of our service users upset.”

Shopmobility, based in The Mall in Luton, caters to the disabled and the elderly by providing mobility scooters to people shopping in the town centre. It took a hit earlier in the year when they lost a £71,000 grant from the London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL) community fund.

To help Luton Shopmobility benefit from match funding, please visit their Localgiving Page: www.localgiving.org/donation/lutonshopmobility

Have you had similar issues in your area? Tell us about it in the Reply Box below.

Thief on mobility scooter breaks into charity shop and steals … a mobility scooter!!

mobility scooter ramraidA thief rode into town in Barnsley on a mobility scooter and ramraided a mobility shop in the early hours and then rode off on one of the mobility scooters.

Instead of taking a new one the thief rode off on a second hand mobility scooter. Minutes later he was captured on CCTV as he came back for his own mobility scooter and drove off again. The crook smashed into the doors with his mobility scooter and was filmed as he selected another model and drove it out of the shop, leaving £5,000 worth of damage at the shop in Cheapside, Barnsley.

Wendy Smith, the chief executive of charity The Inclusion Zone which runs Barnsley Shop Mobility, explained:”He’s definitely an idiot in so many ways. We’ve got new scooters in our fleet and new scooters for sale but he took a really old one. We’re going to send off the video to You’ve been Framed because we think they will pay for it and we are faced with a bill.”

She continued: “He has a limp so at first we thought he was disabled but then he’s running back down to get his old scooter. There must have been someone else with him because you can’t ride two scooters.”

Despite being an old model replacing the mobility scooter will cost £1,600 and new shop doors will cost £3,000.

Wendy added: “You feel as if you’re being targeted although I hope that’s not the case. We are concerned they will keep coming back.”

Last orders for OAP mobility scooter users at Wetherspoon pub

mobility scooter banned by wetherspoons

Teresa and Colin Rabey outside The Potters Wheel in Swansea

A disabled couple are to sacrifice regular Sunday lunch at a Swansea pub after a rule change that means they can’t park their mobility scooters inside Wetherspoons.

Teresa and Colin Rabey have been visiting the Potters Wheel in Kingsway in Swansea since it opened. The pensioners say they have now been informed they cannot park their mobility scooters in their usual place because it is a fire risk hazard and they must now leave them outside the Wetherspoons pub.

Teresa Rabey, aged 68, has osteoporosis, a weak heart and two knee replacements, while her husband, aged 72, suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, a degenerative disease that affects movement.

The couple fear that the mobility scooters, which they “depend” on, could be stolen or vandalised if left outside the pub

Mrs Rabey commented: “I told the manager they were discriminating against us, because prams and other wheelchairs are allowed inside. He said that if we had a normal wheelchair that would be fine, but I can’t push him in a wheelchair because I’ve got heart problems. I was fuming, absolutely fuming. After the meal I had to go and calm myself down.”

Mrs Rabey said she had explained to the pub they had been parking in the same spot for years, but to no avail. She explained: “We depend on our mobility scooters. Colin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago and has had five strokes, it’s marvellous he’s still here. I had a fall in February and had three clots on the brain so I can’t go far without the scooter. These days I try and live each day as it comes.”

A Wetherspoon spokesman declined to comment on the case of the couple but had previously offered hope for an amicable solution with Mr Morgan.

Eight fatalities in the UK involving mobility scooters

David Cockrell - Director of Mapmechanics

A recent report revealed that eight people died as a result of mobility scooter crashes last year.

There’s been a significant increase in the number of mobility scooter accidents that are reported to police and new data shows that there were an average of four crashes per week. Over the last five years 28 pedestrians were seriously injured as a result of collisions with mobility scooters. Another 100 individuals were slightly injured.

Portsmouth is the most accident-prone town with six crashes involving mobility scooters in a year, according to the information from Mapmechanics. Figures revealed that there was a six percent increase in the number of accidents in 2015 compared to 2014, according to the Sunday Times. Mobility scooters were involved in collisions that resulted with injury to twelve cyclists, eight motorcyclists and a horse rider.

David Cockrell, director of Mapmechanics, commented: “The use of mobility scooters is only likely to grow as the baby-boomer generation moves into old age and with rising levels of obesity across all generations affecting personal mobility.”

Should mobility scooter users be banned for driving over the alcohol limit, like other drivers?

drunken mobility scooter driverA disabled pensioner has been banned from driving for year for being drunk in charge of his mobility scooter.

However Joe Harvey of Balnacraig Road, Inverness will still be mobile as he does not need a licence to drive a mobility scooter as the ban does not apply to mobility scooters.

Harvey who admitted driving on Telford Street,Inverness in July, 2015 with more than twice the legal alcohol limit in his system also escaped a fine as the Sheriff did not impose a financial penalty.

Harvey, who suffers from a variety of health issues, commented: “It was music to my ears when I discovered I would still be able to drive my mobility scooter. I haven’t had a drink since and have changed my mobility scooter to a much smaller one now so it won’t happen again.”

His defence lawyer, Marc Dickson said: “He does not require a licence to drive the mobility scooter. However he has to observe the Highway Code and road traffic law.”

Banning Harvey for 12 months and imposing no financial penalty, Sheriff Peter Grant-Hutchison stated: “The statutory one year ban has no practical effect but the legislation requires me to impose a disqualification. In these unusual circumstances, there will be no monetary penalty.”

Do you think this legal loophole should be closed and mobility scooter users should serve a ban for driving over the alcohol limit, like other drivers? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Llanelli pensioner says mobility scooter users need more support

pat butcherMobility scooter user Pat Winchester feels she is viewed by pedestrians and drivers in Llanelli as a “nuisance and a pest”

The Tir Einon pensioner is hitting out after former Scarlets player Neville Holmes criticised the lack of dropped pavements in the town. Mr Holmes had compiled a list of pavements in the town which it is possible to get on at one end but not off at the other if you are dependant on a mobility scooter. Pat Winchester feels Mr Holmes was right to speak out on the issue and that more needed to be done to support people using mobility scooters. Pat commented: “People don’t realise what an inconvenience it is when there are no dropped kerbs. If there’s no way to get on or off the pavement you are stuck on the road, which some people might not want to do.”

The Llanelli resident, who has relied on her mobilityscooter for nine years, said the other issue is “inconsiderate parking” on dropped kerbs and pavements. She said: “You get people parking over them which is wrong. Or right in the middle of the pavement. If I can’t get past then people with prams can’t either. I really would encourage people to think more.”

Ms Winchester said that over the years people’s lack of patience with mobility scooter users has led to her being shouted at. She added: “People don’t seem to realise we are allowed on the road and the pavement. People have shouted at me before. We are considered the pest of the season. We don’t drive these by choice. If it wasn’t for these we would be stuck indoors. It’s all wrong. More needs to be done to help people who reply on mobility scooters.”

Executive Board Member for the Environment, Councillor Hazel Evans, said: “We would be happy to discuss any issues with members of the public. If the resident would like to contact the council directly with their request for dropped kerbs we can carry out assessments and ascertain if it is feasible.”


Do you think mobility scooter drivers be shown more consideration and given more support? Let us know in the Reply Box below.

Police search for gang who fled crime on a get away mobility scooter

burglar getaway on a mobility scooterIn the era of TV series “The Sweeney” in the 1970s, bank robbers escaped in Jaguar Mark II get away cars but in 2016 police are searching for a gang who used a mobility scooter as a getaway vehicle.

The Metropolitan police have released CCTV footage of a bald man driving away on a  mobility scooter after a raid on a pharmacy in Dagenham in East London, escaping with cash from the till. It is believed three other men were also involved in the raid at Kry BA Chemists in May.

The same four robbers are suspected of being involved in another burglary at a cosmetics retail outlet in Dagenham in August. It is not known whether a mobility scooter was used as a get away vehicle on that occasion.

CCTV cameras outside Kry BA Chemists captured the moment when two men used a crowbar to break into the pharmacy. Footage released by the Metropolitan police shows a till being taken out of the shop and handed over to the man on the mobility scooter.

In a statement the Met said that the man was “able to travel quickly away from the store”, although mobility scooters only have a maximum speed of 8mph, limited to 4mph on pavements. It is unlikely that he stuck to the pavement speed limit!!

The getaway driver is described as white, bald, wearing dark clothing and driving a dark mobility scooter Police want to hear from anyone who may recognise any of the four men or witnessed either of the burglaries. Those with information are asked to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

McDonalds refuse to serve man on mobility scooter

Ronald McDonald Trump

Ronald 'Trump' McDonald

A disabled man from Colwyn Bay was refused service at a McDonald’s drive-through despite being on a mobility scooter, which is recognised as a road legal vehicle.

Nino Algieri said he was ‘disappointed’ that McDonald’s in Llandudno would not serve him, despite his mobility scooter being a vehicle which is legalised for use on roads including dual-carriageways. The 59-year-old has been disabled since May 2014 and always travels with his two Shih Tzu’s Bow and Flur – the latter presumably is not named after a McDonald’s McFlurry milkshake!!

Nino Algieri explained how a McDonald’ staff member asked him to drive from the intercom machine to the first window after their manager had refused to serve him as he was not in a proper vehicle.  Nino commented: “I thought it was a joke when they told me I wasn’t in a proper vehicle I kept telling them it was road legal. I’ve been to the drive through several times before and been served.

He continued: “I felt so disappointed because I know how much they do for the disabled normally and I don’t understand why it was an issue. The manager never came out to speak to me to explain and after a while the person that was serving me walked away from the window. I’ve struggled taking this motorised scooter into the store before because it’s so big, so I always use the drive-through when I go.”

Nino has a Class 3 mobility scooter which is legal as a road vehicle as it has a maximum speed of 8mph. It also has an audible horn, a rear view mirror and front and rear lights and reflectors. His mobility scooter also has an amber flashing light which makes it legal on dual carriageways.

A McDonald’s spokesperson explained: “Our drive-through lanes are custom built for motor cars, vans, trucks and mobility scooters designed for road use. Customers on mobility scooters that are not designed for road use are welcome to bring their mobility scooter into the restaurant to be served where possible.

The spokesperson added: “Unfortunately, on this occasion, staff did not recognise that the mobility scooter in question was designed for road use and therefore appropriate to travel through the drive-through We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.”

Mobility scooter morphs into a Vespa scooter

vespa mobility scooterMore than 200 classic scooter enthusiasts joined a huge gathering in a Lincolnshire market town.

The rally organised by the Sleaford All-Knighters Scooter Club saw hundreds of scooter enthusiasts congregate outside the Jolly Scotchman pub in Holdingham to view the classic scooters up close and personal.

There was also a procession through Sleaford town centre and a ride out to honour Sleaford All-Knighters member, Nicky Reeves, 55 who has Down’s Syndrome. Nicky, who has a mobility scooter which was customised by other club members with a Vespa scooter body, led the procession. .

Rob Castle, who runs the Sleaford All-Knighters Scooter Club and organised the event, said: “Nicky loves scooters and there is no chance that he can ride one because he has Down’s Syndrome. We got an electric mobility scooter and put a Vespa front on it and we put a plea out to local clubs to donate things like wing mirrors. “Last year we decided to celebrate this with a ride out and this year is the second anniversary of that.”

Last year, the rally raised money for the Glass House Project and this year funds will support a woman in Ruskington who also suffers from the condition.

Elderly Chinese are now using dangerous 60mph ‘mobility scooters’

The Chinese are circumnavigating traffic laws in modified mobility scooters which are based on the designs of BMWs and Jaguars and can reach speeds of up to 60mph.

Demand for mobility vehicles has been growing with China’s elderly seeking more independence as many of China’s younger generation are failing to adopt the traditional role as carers for their parents. Instead of waiting for a son or daughter to take them out for a shopping trip, many elderly have found their freedom through these modified mobility scooters.

The traditional mobility scooter has changed dramatically in recent years in China. Traditional one-or two-seater ‘open top’ models, which move at the speed of a golf buggy, are now being replaced by the latest sporty Audi or Mini Cooper models.

Being a car owner in China is fraught with problems as cities often demand motorists apply for a limited number of registration plates as a way of reducing the number of vehicles on the country’s heavily congested roads. Mobility vehicles are not required to be registered under Chinese motoring laws, and drivers are not required to hold licenses. The vehicles therefore operate in a legal grey area, giving drivers the opportunity to flout traffic laws.

Beijing Television (BTV) carried an undercover report earlier this month highlighting how these sporty mobility scooters are often seen jumping red lights as the authorities cannot identify who owns them. A reporter pointed out: “The reason why they fear nothing and violate traffic laws is they don’t have car plates on them.” An elderly driver who was filmed with a hidden camera was quoted as saying: “Traffic police officers don’t care. I just jumped some red lights. I don’t need to follow normal traffic restriction rules.”

The Beijing News, which surveyed 20 locations around Beijing for more than six weeks, also described how it observed elderly drivers jumping lights, driving on motorways and driving the wrong way down roads. Zhang Jianguo, a 72-year-old from Beijing who has owned a mobility vehicle for five years, told the newspaper: “I am so happy driving it. I don’t need to have a driving license. I don’t need a registration plate. No traffic police officers can stop me, and even if I jumped a red light, no one cares.”

The Beijing News has revealed that numerous manufacturers in the eastern province of Shandong are making the new style mobility vehicles, which can cover distances of up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) and cost between 15,000 to 35,000 yuan (£1,715-£4,000). The vehicles can reach speeds of up to 60kph (37 mph), but models powered by fuel can reach 100 kph (60mph), a sales manager at one of the manufacturers said.

Statistics from Chinese state broadcaster CCTV indicate 136 people were killed and 858 injured in accidents involving elderly mobility scooters in Beijing between 2011 to October 2013.