A thank you and a moan - pavements and mobility scooters!

A thank you and a moan - pavements and mobility scooters!

I would like to thank every person who has contributed to making the life of a mobility scooter easier by putting in a dropped curb or driveway to road slope - provided it does not begin at the garden gate.

Having need of a mobility scooter for the past few months I have experienced many driveways at varying degrees and felt sorry for those mobility scooter [MS] users who need them because of back or neck trouble. I have been nearly tipped on my side by the severity of the slope when just going along the pavement, made to feel seasick from the undulations as I pass from one driveway to another in quick succession, returning home with either back or neck ache after about a miles ride!

Today it was different. I had to go nearly into town and chose the fastest route as the weather looked threatening. How wrong I was. At first everything went fine and then as I neared the town the dropped pavements began to disappear! I know I was in terraced house area but really! The curbs were a good 4" clear of the road. There was no public dropped curb and no evidence of driveways either. So I had no choice but to follow the curb around the corner and up that road. I had to go another 150yards before I could come off that pavement, and that was around another corner ! So I was going back on myself! I chose to leave the pavement and took to the road. My MS is road taxed and can go up to 8 m.p.h. but my poor dog had nothing to protect her from being run over! Did I forget to mention her? I know it is not advised to walk you dog, however, I am well practised in walking her this way and do not choose to go on the road anyway.

We continued weaving our way through the back streets, trying to get to our target, a place to pick something offered up, but when I tell you that having got there and having a similar problem on the way to the main road and that the whole journey of about 3 miles [?], including a run in the park for my poor dog as we went through, took us an hour!

My mother-in-law is wanting to get one but I will advise her on the best route to the main road and then tell her to stick to it. Visiting friends and relatives will have to be worked out. I cannot allow her to go through all that. At one stage the pavement was blocked by a wheely bin, another stage the pavement was so narrow my dog had to walk in the gutter, and the pavement tipped sharply at that stage too!

How I managed to get home safely I do not know. I only know that all the dropped pavements and curbs there are in this town are not enough! I will be writing to the local council to ask them to look at their pavements again. Sometimes there is a dropped pavement on one side and not another! Where is the sense in that. It leads people to use them assured they can get off! I nearly broke my MS today when a driveway was so steep I ended up with my back wheels suspended!!! Fortunatly, four wheel drive, I was able to reverse and try again faster! I got up there but don't know how!

Sorry that was a big vent. I did that journey to pick up a night light for my grandchildren, and went to the wrong house!!! Sorry, laughing about it now and can't type!!! :))

I always used to wonder why people would endanger themselves in mobility scooters by taking to the road - now I know why - the pavements are dangerous and can trap you! Imagine, you have a max of 3" to go up or down curbs, you go up a dropped pavement, get to the end of it, no corner, no dropped curb, no driveway and worse an overhanging bush! Its happened to me. I had to turn on my seat so I was sideways on and reverse carefully or I would have tipped over into the road. I came within centimeters of doing that. And yes I had my dog, she sat in the road waiting.

So you see, I am grateful, but it is scary! I am not a little old, frail lady, but my mother-in-law is.

5 Replies

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  • I will be moving next month to a place where I can use an electric wheelchair and I am right to be scared because of all the above especially as to go down a curb it has to be backwards

  • i find when i go to a supermarket and use the mobility scooter in there, people just dont seem to see us. and when they do they look at us as if its our fault that we bumped into them. people should be made aware that mobility scooters do not have a short breaking distance like they think they do.

  • Jules58 I am so sorry you had to endure such ignorance. I am sure they will regret it in time. I am afraid no one understands another persons position until they have had experience of it. If you do not have confidence to go to the customer services counter yourself, maybe you could write a letter to the head office of any/all of the shops concerned and explain that unless they do something about their rails, they will continue to lose business not only from the disabled [whatever their age] but also from parents who have buggies and other children with them. If enough people do this, they will listen. When I have felt brave enough and angry enough I have stormed out of a shop saying if they cannot be bothered to...then I cannot be bothered to shop there! All very well and good my daughter pointed out, but who heard me? If we do not stand up for ourselves and let people know our problems they cannot put things right. Please do not be embarrassed and avoid a shop because of stupid women, or men for that matter. You had every right to get to that counter and they had no right to block you no matter who you are or anything else. Well done that shop assistant. What about your local paper? Do you have friends with the same problems? Why not see if you can get them onside and all write letters. You may get something done about it that way and help someone else in our situation.

  • and a moan from me, i gave up on mine two years ago as the council did do something about the lack of dropped curbs but made them all suitable for blind people. thats fine if you're blind [and new they were there] but unfortunately my neck back hips and other joints could not tolerate the bumps that the bumps give you as you drive over them on the scooter. the ones at our supermarket are even worse. no one undestands why i dont cross at their crossings. its too painful while hanging onto a shopping trolley. i am sure there are more people with joint pains of various causes than there are blind people trying to get about in our area. i know of only one blind guy locally that walks about without a guild dog [well he has a yorkshire terrier but dont think that counts] and he doesnt even use the dropped curbs anyway. says he would be feeling about with his feet which would look stupid. and he is probably right.

    i have had to put my foot out on many occasions too to stop myself from falling into the road as some of our pavements are sloped to the road. and my friends mum ended up in the road many times as her ms meant she couldnt put her foot out to save herself.

  • Thank you all for some very vallied comments and ideas. As you will see it set me off when I read Jules58. I was working up the page and now having read it all I will certainly look into the local Access Group. We all need a voice, however small, if used it will help us and others! Please, if you don't want to do it for yourselves - think of someone more vulnerable than yourselves going out and being confronted with the same issues.

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