Local initiative to shine light on mobility scooter access issues

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

A local transport authority in Devon has teamed up with a Shopmobility service in an initiative to increase awareness around access issues for mobility scooter users in the area.

Newton Abbot Community Transport Association (NACTA)’s event will offer able-bodied council members and residents a chance to try out a mobility scooter in the area to see how easy or difficult it is to access different places.

The event, which will be the seventh one organised, will offer 45-minute sessions for people to take on a set course and while they travel they will answer questions and collect items from shops.

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NACTA Manager Kay Yendall said that no one who experiences the challenge ever sees life in quite the same way again, according to Devon Live.

Phil Heywood from Torbay and South Devon NHS, who has previously taken on the challenge, told the newspaper: “It was an eye opening experience driving the scooter, negotiating dropped kerbs, automatic doors, lifts and worst of all pedestrians.

“Colleagues in the office here wouldn’t believe what we’d been doing until we showed them the pictures.”

Now, twelve months later, he added: “While it was great fun being involved on the day, the most important learning from riding the scooter has stayed with me and made me much more aware of the needs of people on scooters when I’m out and about.”

Shops and business in the area are being asked to nominate a member of staff to complete the challenge and compete against other takers.

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