The local council has been criticised after it allegedly ignored residents’ requests for better provision for large, class three mobility scooters at a new bus station which cost £5m to build.
Blackburn’s Darwen Older Person’s Forum previously highlighted the lack of parking spaces for larger scooter models but have reportedly accused the council of failing to act on its pleas.
The chairman of the group argued that the bus station, which opened in May, should have been designed with provision for larger scooters in mind. He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I still feel like I’m not being listened to. It’s very frustrating.
“Class three size mobility scooters are too large for the buses, unlike the class one and class two mobility scooters, so we therefore need somewhere to park at the bus station before we get on the buses. But the council still aren’t allowing this for safety and insurance reasons.”
According to the newspaper, the chairman has sent letters to all the councillors requesting support but has only received responses from four of them.
“I don’t think this is good enough,” he said. “The only alternatives offered are the use of the market and the Shopmobility areas which are unsuitable as they require returning to Blackburn for about 4.45pm before both places close and is not available on Sunday.
“These scooters are vital to many disabled and elderly passengers, and to not provide for them at the bus station may very well be contrary to equality and discrimination laws.”
A spokesman said that the council regrets that the scooters cannot be provided for because the authority ‘cannot accept liability for damage or theft.’
A spokesperson said: “We are currently looking at the concerns that have been raised and the possibility of passengers using a number of alternatives including Shopmobility within Blackburn Market.”