Campaigners and local residents have reacted with shock and outrage over proposals by a London council which could see mobility scooters banned from being driven on pavements.
Enfield Council has come under fire after it was revealed that the local authority is considering taking out a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to deal with a range of what it sees as antisocial problems in the area.
The campaigning human rights group Liberty drew attention to the plans, which also include potential measures such as the banning of rough sleepers and public speakers from land falling under control of the council.
A copy of Enfield Council’s consultation for introducing a PSPO notes that the suggested action ‘will not be applicable to mobility scooters that legitimately use the pavements. Manual wheelchairs and vehicles with an upper speed limit of 4mph…are designed to be used on pavements. Those with an upper-speed limit of 8mph…are equipped to be used on the road as well as the pavement.’
However, the letter from Liberty – which is discussed further in a Politics.co.uk article by Natalie Bloomer – points out that ‘No disabled person should be forced to travel in the road because their use of the pavement has been deemed illegitimate on the basis of the potential speed limit of their mobility aid’.
‘DANGEROUS AND LEGALLY DUBIOUS’
The council’s position on this particular matter is also being brought into serious question by the fact that the Highway Code actually advises that pavements should be used by 8mph mobility scooters whenever possible, as the alternative – riding in the road – is not as safe.
It is clear that Liberty are determined to thwart Enfield Council’s plans before they get off the ground, with legal officer Rosie Brighouse claiming that the proposals are ‘going in a dangerous and legally dubious direction’.
At the time of writing, the council’s only comment on the matter has been that no decision will be made until the consultation has been completed and all responses to it considered.