Motability, Blue Badges and disabled motoring
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Mobility scooters and the London Transport system

What most people need is ,speed ,cool looking tech and safety , that's what the research says ,especially about the young elderly or older newly disabled, 
The law says 4 mph on the pavement ,8 mph on the road with all the lights and indications that go with it ,
A lot of chinese imports of urban electric vehicles ,scooters, trikes call them what you like offer 3 speed settings 5kph/10/and 15, which is way above the legal limit  but they are becoming popular because they are cheap, and easy to buy ,
But the manufactures do not seem to be talking to the transport system providers , the meaning of portable often means you can get it in the back of a car , the least of your worries in a city when you don't have a car , the regulations state that a scooter should not be more than 1 meter in length to fit into a bus , but most pavement friendly ones are over this , so you can not take them on a Bus ,or River Boat ,or Taxi ,
Most people live in flats so how do they fit into lifts , where do you power them up , how do they keep them safe at the bottom of tower blocks in bike bays.
Landlords say you can't park them in corridors ,they are a fire risk, safety hazard to the blind and so on . 
I think the city planners need  to rethink about how disabled people travel around a city and not just make the environment friendly but also promote the vehicles we use to do this 

More people would use the tube if we could access step free stations with a scooter/chair that climbs stairs and escalators , the fear of being stranded especially at night would go away if all chairs when into taxis, the new electric car charging points could also charge scooters ,and if the footpaths and pavement really were flat and drop kerbs are actually drop ones 

What do people think , should we march on city Hall and demand our rights, and ask for a new way of thinking ACCESS TO LONDON 


  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    Very well said. If spoken on this myself. 
    You only other person who sees the problem 
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,300 Disability Gamechanger
    As a fairly new scooter user living in a semi rural area. I have found cars parked on pavements a problem also the lack of drop curbs on older paths and estates but new housing estates are more acomindating  except for the planting of shrubs left to grow to high to see on coming traffic. I have a boot scooter for taking shopping trips days out and hospital visits but have not used on public transport. I feel that those of use should be more careful in how we use our scooters in public places in regards to speed.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    Take the new Elizabeth Line , all disabled friendly except when you get on it, were do do change to get off it ,but you can't if you don't fit into the lift ,why do I have to go miles out of the way to get from Bow Road to Finsbury Park,or Earls Court

    They spent so much money on the new line they forgot that the old stations with an upgrade could have been converted years ago with a little joined up thinking and a proper strategy so the whole system could be useful to the disabled ,now all we have is a piecemeal  no plan , we will do it when we can attitude 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    On the Jubilee Line watch out for Bond St and Green Park stations they only have level platform access on one door so if you get on at a level platform at another station you will not be able to get off unless you are in the level access doors at these two , I cracked my casing on the front wheel of my scooter the other day because the drop was to big and I drove into a seat on the platform and got stuck between the floof and the seat height , Lucky that a couple of young guys helped me get in out 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    it's also useful to know that if you come across a lift that's out of order and you are stuck in the station , try asking the staff to escort you to the Fireman's lift ,all deep level stations should have one 
  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 314 Pioneering

    Hi @dkb123   It's not just London that's inconsistent regarding the length of mobility scooters on public transport.  My most recent experience was regarding Edinburgh Trams who insist on 100 cm length but their own advertising leaflet has a photo of a local councillor using a 121cm [47.5 inches] Sterling Sapphire 2 scooter on the tram !!!

    I have used scooters 108 cm long on low-floor city tour buses but there is always the fear of some jobsworth quoting the rule book, but the difficulty is actually getting the thing certified in the first place.

    Whoever decided on a blanket 100 cm limit certainly didn't put much thought into it.. 

    Yes....don't get me started on drop-down kerbs and indiscriminate parking.

    Best wishes.


  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    I know what you mean , my Freerider Knightsbridge is 119 cm ,19 cm too long for London Buses, but I have a card which you have to apply for, to allow me on the Riverboats.
    yes whoever was the whizzkid who came up with these rules were not very knowledge about the lifestyle of disabled people , times have moved on since the options of a manual pushed chair and the new young older generation didn't want Granny basket scooters anymore , powered is the future  
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    edited July 2018
    will someone please tell me why mobility scooters are not allowed to use cycle or bus lanes 
  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    Proberly cos your het squished by a bus
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    well if you have a sensible comment to make I might take your observation  serious 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Mobility scooters are not a prescribed aid as such and most are not licensed. Many are used by the able bodied as a car substitute and the second hand market remains a dangerous mess. Thus most are not roadworthy and rightly not allowed to go on roads. More to the point people are not required to train to use them nor pass tests. 

    Putting aside the above it would be insane to allow even the roadworthy mobility scooters into a bus lane as they go at a tenth of the speed and would be a clear obstruction. Same issue with cycle lanes. You create separate lanes for things which go at the same speed not different sizes and speeds. 

    This is nothing to do with the lifestyle of disabled people and everything to do with the ability to drive. There have been a number of deaths and injuries and a significant number where people speed or take them where they shouldn’t be. That includes public transport.

  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    the point is that the scooters are allowed on the roads which is a far more dangerous place than cycle lanes,and the use of scooters far predate  the introduction of bus and cycle lanes  by decades ,the law just has not caught up with the times  
  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    There's enough accidents in shops with scooters we really don't want them on buses. They run over people feet. Hit peoples legs mostly cos the people who have them are selfish and usually fat.

    At.least wheelchair users travel slow enough that disabled people don't get run over.

    Our local supermarket has made ALL scooter users transfer to a wheelchair and have a staff to go round helping reach their goods.
    Much much safer
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    wheelchairs do the same ,it's not the equipments fault and I think it might just be an overgeneralization about the build of the users , comments like that is how discrimination and hate crimes start 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    dkb123 said:
    the point is that the scooters are allowed on the roads which is a far more dangerous place than cycle lanes,and the use of scooters far predate  the introduction of bus and cycle lanes  by decades ,the law just has not caught up with the times  
    That is incorrect on every front A small number of vehicles are allowed on the road. They are generally not classified as mobility scooters. The first mobility scooter was invented in 1968. The first cycle path in the 1890s and the first bus lane in 1940. 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    All that is very disputable and we have to live in the modern world  ,the fact remains that some road users are favoured above others ,which puts their safety in question 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Feel free to dispute it with specific evidence that the dates are wrong and that unregistered vehicles can go on the road. You appear to be making some kind of vague argument for shared space. Doubt you’ll find anyone here who would accept that as the way forward. 

    Bottom line is that until vehicles are registered and full lessons and exams in place nothing will change. 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    it did for cyclists , who are not registered or trained and go a lot faster then scooters 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you ever met a cyclist who can’t control their bike? 

    Sadly there are too many people with mobility scooters who lack both the intelligence to stay out of danger or the ability to control their vehicle without injuring themselves or others. Transport providers are fully aware of this and make decisions accordingly.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    and the same can be said about cyclists , time and time again we read of aggressive bike riders going through red lights passing heavy vehicles on the wrong side and being killed , just because of reckless behaviour and arrogance ,now because of a few politicians who wanted a quick cause in city hall we have a ridiculous ,unfair system that is needlessly putting lives at risk by forcing two groups of road users to share the same dangerous piece of tarmac   
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    I think you need to be much clearer. I’m talking about lack of control not conscious decision making. Cyclists do indeed jump lights etc. but those who are killed are killed by reckless driving and their invisibility rather than those decisions. You’ll do well to find any stories about a cyclist jumping a light abc then being injured. I’m also completely unclear what you mean by the “wrong side” when it comes to HGVs. You cycle inside or centre (something which most motorists still don’t realise is correct) and you overtake outside. Not sure how you could do anything wrong there.

    There seems a complete lack of appreciation that this isn’t a political issue. It’s a practical and insurance based decision. Politicians are more than keen to create cycle lanes and it’s easy to forget that bikes pre date 4 wheel vehicles. The issue is one of practicality. Ditto mobility scooters. I have seen over-sized mobility scooters on Manchester Metrolink. They endanger the use and those around them and indeed one did in fact drive straight into unopened doors and smash straight out onto the track below. Doubt you’d see that from a cyclist. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Would you be so kind as to not use all capitals?

    Three reasons:

    1) On the Internet it is the equivalent of shouting.
    2) It’s unlikely to comply with forum rules.
    3) It is way harder to read than sentence case for anyone with a visual impairment.

    Thank you.

    Back on topic. Your post referred to the “reckless behaviour” and “arrogance” of cyclists. Would you kindly point out where , in the link you have posted, any of those accidents are attributed as being the fault of cyclists? I can see nothing there which says that at all. As I says earlier, lack of control and conscious decision making are two different things.

    Could happily spend the rest of the day posting links to where users of mobility scooters have regrettably caused accidents. 
  • SilvanneSilvanne Member Posts: 1 Listener
    "Many are used by the able bodied"

    "Hit peoples legs mostly cos the people who have them are selfish and usually fat."

    On the subject of a fat people on scooters and people who supposedly cannot drive scooters:

    I was about 10 stone and 26 years old when I was involved in the accident that damaged my back. The doctors said I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was forty because the accident left me with a condition that was going to degenerate over time. I have  fought hard, through physical therapy and exercise, to stay mobile as possible and have made it to my 52nd birthday primarily having to use a mobility scooter when I am going to have to walk great distances (or stand for long periods of time--like trips to theme parks or museums). I am perfectly capable of getting on and off the scooter for short periods and a good portion of my "normal" life, and thus, most of the time, appear "able-bodied," although I am not legally or medically considered to be so. I have also put on weight as a result of all of this and the medications they put me on. In other words, if you saw me on the street, you might assume that I was a) able-bodied, b) lazy, and c) fat as a result of that laziness. None of those are actually true. My point is that you NEVER know the story of a person's disability by looking at them, and judging them based on what you can see, without know what they are actually dealing with, creates prejudice and greater obstacles for people who are already dealing with enough of them.

    Also, most scooters do not have brakes. They only have accelerators. As a result, it is impossible to stop them with any accuracy. Sometimes it takes an inch. Sometimes it takes as many as six. And there is not a one-to-one relation to the speed you are going. Able-bodied people act as though people in mobility scooters have far more control over their scooters than the technology gives us. Time and again, I have had people see me moving in a particular direction at a constant speed, and hurry, as though I am a train, to try to cut me off to get past me (speeding up their pace, rather than breaking it slightly to allow me to continue at the pace I was already going, as they would a person on foot) and, when they find themselves bumped by the front of the scooter because I cannot stop on a dime to facilitate their rudeness, they then begin to curse at me for not being able to drive a piece of machinery they do not understand. Even when my husband walks a foot or foot and a half in front of me to try to clear the path in a crowd so that I will not have to deal with even the passive guilt of "clipping" someone who thinks they are more entitled to get where they are going than I am, I have had people (and I mean several people at a time) intentionally try hurry to squeeze into the 12-18 inch gap between us to get past and STILL get angry and start yelling at me for "hitting" them. I'm sure every single one of those people told themselves that I was somehow "selfish" or "able-bodied" and just "fat" to justify their anger at having faced a consequence for their own self-centeredness and their own behavior at yelling at someone who had actually been literally just been going about her day. 

    And don't waste your time trying to argue that I'm somehow the exception. Because I'm really, really not.
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