Brian Todd, chairman of the Older People’s Forum in Blackburn accused the council of being ‘offensive’ over their refusal to make provisions for parking larger mobility scooters at the new £5 million Ainsworth Street bus station.
The argument put forward by Councillor Phil Riley, the council’s regeneration boss, was that scooters could obstruct other passengers and the borough could not accept responsibility for their protection from damage and theft. He also claimed there was a secure parking space available in the market across the street.
Mr Todd responded: “There is no problem with the smaller mobility scooters which can be taken on buses. The larger version is too big. We have been asking the council to allocate spaces for them by the white wall at the Church Street/Salford end of the bus station. There is plenty of room there and these scooters are vital to many disabled and elderly passengers.”
“It is no good leaving them in the market which closes at 5pm if people are going out for the day. The council’s attitude is offensive and may well breach the human rights of users who should insure their own scooters.”
The row over whether or not there is appropriate and secure parking for large mobility scooters continues, although a statement by the bus station manager Chris Smith seemed to clarify one thing: “Our bus stations don’t have formal facilities for storage of mobility scooters.”
Transport issues are prevalent among wheelchair and mobility scooter users. With many not being able to use folding mobility scooters, local councils and the government must continue to work towards increased accessibility for all people in the UK.