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?