A Shopmobility service in Gloucester city centre may have to raise its prices so that it remains sustainable.
The service, which lends mobility scooters and wheelchairs to local residents, has say it may increase its prices by £2 per use which comes on top of the £24 annual membership.
There is expected to be a consultation on the matter soon where the city council’s cabinet will ask for feedback on the proposals.
A spokesman for Gloucester City Council told Gloucestershire Live that the Shopmobility scheme is a “valued service” that supports individuals with mobility issues to access the city centre.
“Though it’s not a service that the council has to provide, it’s one that it’s enthusiastic to maintain. In order to make sure it continues, it has to be financially sustainable whilst the council continues to explore alternative options for the longer term.”
Changes have not been made since 2012 but Shopmobility services around the country are under increasing pressure as councils cut funding. Several have already closed this year leaving people without affordable-to-hire mobility equipment.
Current members have unlimited use of the service for a £24 annual fee. An additional £2 will be sought each time someone hires a scooter. The council says Gloucester’s new fee would still be smaller than schemes in Exeter, Hereford and Worcester.
Cllr Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities at Gloucester City Council, said: “A review of service charges is long overdue. The proposed increases are reasonable and still keep Gloucester amongst the cheapest when compared to our neighbours.
“Our Shopmobility service is popular and we’re always interested in hearing back from our customers as to how we can further improve. I’d like to encourage people to take part in the consultation when it launches later this year and let us know their thoughts.”