Beware, vent in progress!

I'm going to unapologetically vent! This is for fellow mobility scooter users and of course those in wheelchairs. I'm sure what I'm about to describe is familiar to most of you.

I've been using my scooter for over 9 months now and I am confident in my operation of it and also my conduct re other pavement users. I realised all too quickly that there are many out there who frankly are at best unconcerned about my presence and at worst, downright inconsiderate and thoughtless. I knew from the outset that I had to be very careful and mindful of others when out and about.

Now, I'll acknowledge from the outset that my journeys include my terrier, indeed he's the reason I use the scooter to enable his walks. Therefore I need to especially careful.

I make it my business to be very aware of who or what is nearby. I'm certain I'm far more alert than most pedestrians, cyclist's, dog walkers, joggers, pavement parkers, refuse collectors, white van men, builders etc. I'm responsible for what I do, so it is incumbent upon me to give way to others.

It would just make such a refreshing change if my efforts were occasionally acknowledged. Don't get me wrong, I learned quickly to have low to nil expectations of those I encounter.

A recurring scenario is to be seen by others and even more quickly - unseen. This is particularly evident when the culprit is responsible for obstructing my safe passage. Pavement parking is absolutely the norm, it is endemic. It is as though the Highway Code actually stipulates that it is mandatory to park in this way. Pavement parked vehicles significantly outnumber those parked alongside the curb. I'm sure that this is the case up and down the country. I know it will be countered that many of our roads weren't designed to cope with the amount of traffic and that emergency vehicles need to get access. Fact is though that in most cases it just requires thought and consideration to park carefully and of course vehicles passing through areas need to do so equally carefully. I daily travel through a new estate where most houses are detached with copious drives, yet still so many park up on the pavement.

I don't know what is to be done about this. I've highlighted problems to local police but it isn't a priority with few resources available.

White vans proliferate and I can't remember seeing one that wasn't parked up on the pavement.

Of course cyclists also seem to see the pavement as their territory and at night are invariably without lights too!

I stop and endeavour to pull to the side as soon as I see a pedestrian coming towards me. Whilst I do get the occasional smile or thanks, most don't care and would certainly not consider moving even temporarily to allow me to pass. Fellow dog walkers can be problematic as not only do they not know how my dog will react to theirs but folk are not inclined to deviate from their intended path to avoid potential incident.

In essence I feel I take every precaution and have to think for others and try to second guess intentions.

Has our species been so unaccommodating for long?

38 Replies

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  • Cyclists riding on the pavements. Grrr don't get me started, one nearly knocked me over the other day I didn't hear him coming up behind me , He didn't even say sorry just rode on like I was invisible, don't they have bells nowadays , and isn't it against the law to cycle on the pavement anyway.

    As for parking on pavements it's the same everywhere now people just park whoever they want to , another thing is they park right outside a cash point on double yellow lines too LAZY to walk from the car park !!!!!

    I'd be very nervous to use a scooter or electric wheel chair, you're braver than me , take care 😃

  • Hi Mydexter

    I wouldn't be able to get my pooch out without the scooter so it's a necessity. I think the law is rather grey re much of these matters. I read somewhere it's ok to cycle on pavement if going slowly? Parking on pavement can of course vary re degree of obstruction. But rudeness and lack of consideration prevails.

  • It's only legal to cycle on the pavement if its a designated cycle lane. Then pedestrians still think they have the right to use it. Weren't we once encouraged as kids to SHARE?

    That said surely you'd have to be hard hearted to insist a 7 year old get on the road, and there are many cases where the cyclist feels in danger on the road. That doesn't excuse bad manners and they should always be prepared to give way and make allowances. And there are some pretty stroppy scooter users round here.

  • Hi

    Actually I don't have problems with youngsters riding on pavements, I wouldn't want anyone to have an accident. Those who I've found to be the rudest who won't give way and speed past are adults and typically male not in the first flush of youth. It's as though the rules don't apply to them. Of course, I don't doubt there are inconsiderate and rude people on mobility scooters and in wheelchairs. But I guarantee that the able bodied wouldn't want to swap places? It is about give and take.

  • Absolutely, and I have to agree, there's a certain demographic.

    There's rude in any group, however you group it. A lady in a car pulled out in front of me the other day. She had children in the car, so

    1) she's teaching them its ok to pull out in front of traffic, and

    2) would she have endangered them by doing it to a bus?

  • Sometimes it's because of parked cars that cyclists use the pavement. We have cycle lanes but there are cars parked over them meaning the cyclist has to weave back and forward. A dangerous process. Like everything else there are thoughtless users in every category including mobility scooters. I doubt there is an answer to the problem.

    Cyclists should not be on the pavement but neither should the cars.

    Dee

  • yes it is but see above. As is cars driving in bus only lanes, parking on yellow lines etc.

  • If I knew they were around I.d throw an obstacle in their path and hope they but it!!! Sorry but pavement riders are a pest

  • Rant away. Before I was ill I used to always be accosting the police e and community police walking down our very busy main road asking them to book the pavement parkers. Why they asked? Well I would say there are about 15 buses an hour coming down this road, it is a main route for ambulances and fire engines and heavy lorries use it and I see people in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and women with buggies having to go into the road to get around the cars. They tried to say as long as there was space between the garden walls and the parked cars to get by that was fine. I said well most of the time there is for why would people be going on the road and if the cars are scratched whose fault will it be.

    If I am in a supermarket or shop or walking along a pavement I always stand aside for people in a wheelchair or scooter and the times someone has said thank you you are the first person today to do that. Well we walking wounded as I call us fibromites who are still actually in the fortunate position of being able to get along slowly under our own steam realise what being disabled is all about.

    We have just moved and there are no footpaths in our croft and some keen cyclists well you can fill in the rest. I am a keen dog lover but I have seen people in mobility scooters trying to get a peaceful bit of fresh air being chased by dogs across the park whilst the owners jabber away to each other, grhh😤😒😬😠👹x

  • Hi rosewine

    Back in the day when everything worked at least passably I didn't hesitate to get out of folks way. And to be honest, there were somewhat selfish reasons for that insofar as I didn't want to get involved in any unwanted incidents. I figured the disabled person had more than enough to deal with.

  • I agree with your comments but I have another complaint and that's with the number of dropped kerbs in my area. Don't get me wrong I can see the need for people to utilise their front gardens in this way but some of the inclines are quite steep and when I'm on my scooter it seems like an obstacle course and gets me leaning to the side like I'm in a motorcycle race. Rant over! Take care everyone 🏍😤 x

  • Hi Grams41

    Thing is we rely on dropped kerbs for access and egress and of course these too get frequently blocked. But it can be quite a roller coaster ride can't it. Scooters aren't that stable, so inclines do need careful consideration. Wonder if there'll ever be a TT race for us 😉

  • I hate bin day and lack of lowered kerbs and rude people that's say what are you doing on that ! Happy mobility motoring😊

  • Oh yes Junebee, bin day is always difficult. I invariably have to somehow move those carelessly returned to the middle of the path so can't win either way!

  • Well after reading all your posts I feel extremely fortunate, because I don't have any of these problems. When I began using a mobility scooter I quite expected to encounter all the situations you guys have described, and I was amazed to find the opposite. In fact only a few days ago I was telling a neighbour how surprised I've been by how kind and courteous people are when I'm on my scooter. I rarely get the chance to give way to anybody because as soon as people see me coming they step off the pavement to allow me through. I often hear mums pushing prams calling to kiddies running ahead to "move out of the way so the lady can get past". There are no cyclists on the pavements either but we sometimes share footpaths, and again the cyclists move out of the way long before I reach them. Thankfully people don't park on the pavements here either, so I never have a problem getting through. Even the moody looking teenagers move when they see me coming, and most of them even smile and say "You're welcome" when I thank them. The thing that surprised me the most is that I hardly ever have to wait to cross a road. Motorists slow down and stop almost immediately when I reach a kerb and I am waved across the road with a smile. I've even had someone wave me across the road at a green traffic light! I was really amazed the first few times how people behaved towards me.

    I'm clearly exceptionally lucky to live here and I have a theory as to why it's different from where you guys live. Mobility scooters are prolific here and the majority of riders are elderly and not very observant. I can only think that the younger population has decided that for self-preservation it's more prudent to get out of the way before they get mown down, or to stop and let a scooter cross the road before it just comes straight out in front of them without warning! That's the only explanation I can think of.

  • Sounds like you live somewhere like Skegness. That is mobility scooter capital. Sounds Utopian.

  • Similar, I live on the Sussex coast. The area is known as "God's Waiting Room" because there are so many elderly people. There is one bad thing - a lot of the pavements are in a dreadful state and need resurfacing. Some of them could shake your teeth out as you judder over all the bumps and holes.

  • Know what you mean. You'd never know how bad the pavements are unless you had to use a scooter, or indeed it must be worse in a wheelchair.

  • Hi

    I would like to aid the inconsiderate Refuge operators who once have emptied the bins leave them willy nilly over the pave meant and make it imposable to get pass if you are a mobility scooter or a wheelchair users

    Rose

  • no need to apologise for the vent. I have similar frustrations. There's a local campaign about pavement parking. My estate was built before the "common man" had cars. Now they obstruct the buses and the pavements. People with sticks, tri walkers, babies have to get in the road. I though obstruction was illegal. it is. but no resources to sort it. I'm a keen cyclist and am known to stop at red traffic lights :O There's a need for all of us to be courteous, and getting in a car need not automatically turn us into mannerless oafs. Public transport etiquette seems to have gone out of the window too.

  • I agree with you totally my friend. I live in a new build bungalow in a disabled area and everyone parks on their drives and puts the bin on the end of their drive etc, etc. We all appreciate everyone else's disabilities and illnesses. However, when I go to the next community of new builds which are full of professional people and their 4 x 4's then it is a completely different matter with parking on the pavements, bins left in the middle of the pavement for days! It is a nightmare.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken

  • I've never heard of a disabled area of housing, what a great idea.

  • It is really nice. It is just a dozen bungalows full of disabled folk. Very peaceful :)

  • Ken where I live the bin men are the culprits for leaving emptied bins. Strewn everywhere

  • Typical! They are quite good where I live and put them back on the drive :)

  • I do sympathomimetic with you. In our small village there are people who put out their bins and park on the kerb leaving no room to walk past. I have to go in the road with my small dog and it is narrow with few people sticking to the 30 limit. I do also have to say, I wish the scooter users in the village were as considerate as you are. Despite drop kerbs being installed, they persist in driving on the road. This causes long tail backs and when the are tow of them abreast, it is very dangerous .

  • There are selfish users both able bodied and disabled. Mobility scooters are pavement scooters. All the advice and guidance says stick to the pavement. Obviously where there isn't pavement or dropped kerb you have to go on the road. There are Class 2 & Class 3 scooters. The former have a maximum speed of 4 mph which is limit on pavement and the latter can manage 8 mph, with lights and horn to enable travel on road. From an obvious position of how vulnerable it is to be on the road even on the faster scooter, I quickly retreat to the pavement for safety. Where I live there is a nearby lane without pavement that I do use occasionally because it's relatively quiet and I love solitude and the countryside. However many vehicles speed down there so I feel very vulnerable. I always ride on the left of the road and if oncoming traffic and that from behind converge near to me, I stop. You have to do your bit and be responsible for your actions. I can't control what others do but am accountable for my actions.

  • I appreciate you are a responsible user, what concerns me is the people who drive on the road. When there is a pavement. I am sure they don't appreciate how vulnerable they are and it scares me that an accident is almost inevitable.

  • The problem is that if you have a class 3 8 mph scooter it's illegal to go at that speed on the pavement, you have to go on the road. People who are going several miles don't want to take twice as long to get there and back by going at 4 mph on the pavement. I really regret not buying an 8 mph scooter and want to upgrade mine asap.

  • Whatever happened to the service where the bin men came and collected our bins from our property and returned them?? The only time mine are done this way is when my bin cleaner man comes to wash them!

  • This has opened a whole new can of worms (yummy)

    I'd forgotten the bin men. I know they have a hard enough job to do but getting past a bin left on the path is a pain. And remember we're not allowed to do that. It MUST be on the householder's property

  • Well even I was gobsmacked this afternoon. I was on the seafront with the dogs, me on my scooter and them running along the prom ahead of me off lead, which is allowed on that part of the prom. Millie decided to poop right in the middle of the walkway, so I pulled out a poop bag and was just about to get off the scooter so I could reach it to clear it up - and a man walking towards me called out "You stay there, don't get off, I'll get it.". And so saying he took the poop bag from me and scooped the poop. And then he insisted on taking it with him "No, no, there's a bin just up there, I'll drop it in for you". I managed to thank him profusely even though I was almost speechless with amazement. He brushed it off, wished me a pleasant afternoon and carried on his way. Wow!

  • Wow indeed.

  • As a permanent wheelchair user i can agree with what you say , however what is becoming a problem is that there are people who dont use them for disability at all, they use them for convenience, there is a couple near me and whilst she has some "long distance walking difficulties", her words not mine he has none at all again his words, but they have matching scooters because she doesnt like being on her own, that will win us no votes. There should be compulsory 3rd party insurance because some of these big 8 mph scooters are heavy and can do a lot of damage to people and property and im afraid i believe there should be at least a "guidance assesment" of some kind so that people are advised to use them properly and safely and please if you dont need one dont make it worse for everyone by jumping on the band wagon ( or 20 stone 8 mph scooter).

  • Hi Leonwp

    What you describe is absolutely disgraceful. It angers me that people can be so lazy and thoughtless. I thought long and hard before getting mine. I can walk still but over the years my progressive spinal condition has eroded my mobility and other functioning. I haven't given up on walking for obvious reasons but as my legs weaken (paraparesis) I'm increasingly vulnerable and especially so with a sometimes belligerent terrier. I don't receive PIP or have a blue badge yet and after reading here what people have been through I'm unsure about applying for these.

  • I think the problem is the perception it gives to others, it is obviously a difficult balance for you making sure you exercise to keep what mobility you have against pain and joint damage. I would think that is a day to day decision only you can make especially with a 4 legged buddy to prioritise. There are bad experiences with PIP for sure but that is no reason not to apply if you meet the criteria, ive been through DLA plus reconsideration plus re apply plus tribunal which i finalky won, PIP which i won, ESA which i won twice, blue badge is automatic if you get 8 i think on PIP mobility but i believe you can also apply on doctors opinion, but im not certain. Good luck if you claim but with the difficulties you describe i certainly think you should.

  • I'm in receipt of contributions based ESA and retired early on health grounds through Occ Health physician. Presently I can walk more than 200 metres but it's hard work, slow and I stop frequently. I'm considering getting a wheelchair to be proactive and attempt to self propel. My strength isn't good but I need to try.

  • SNIFFER... I.VE got the most rudest neighbours who consider themselves eligable to have 4 vehicles in a small Close..we have the national grid around at present laying new gas pipes,he refused to move it saying it's broken down,they offered a 4 man crew to move it,his languages choice! I.ve enjoyeed watching the workmen drag their spades alongside tyres and body work and the digger took a mirror off swinging round!! People who are ignorant to the needs of others deserve bad luck.. I would say if its safe make your maneuver and as long as YOU are not injured not your vehicle slice past and make your mark!!!

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