Sunday, October 21, 2018

On Riding a Mobility Scooter

There are three ways one can legally ride a class three mobility scooter.  On the pavement, on a cycle path, and on the road.

None of these are ideal or easy to use.

By law when riding on a pavement one has to turn on the tortoise switch to guarantee that you only travel at 4mph.  This of course is a must and very understandable when riding where pedestrians are.  However, of course if there are no cycle paths in an area and the road is a busy dangerous one, even with no pedestrians around it's still 4mph on the pavement and one gets nowhere fast.

On a cycle path you are however allowed to go at the maximum speed your scooter can go which is between 6 and 8 mph, depending on the scooter.

Unfortunately in my home area, all cycle paths are also shared with pedestrians.  They are in fact simply pavements where the council deems is far enough away from a pedestrian area to ride faster.  These pavements are in an absolutely appalling state of repair.  It's impossible to actually travel at the maximum speed of your scooter, and you have to slow down to a walking speed if you are to feel safe and not be bounced violently around.  You also have the added problem of having to continually stop at side roads to let vehicles pass.

On the road motorists seem to object even more violently and aggressively to mobility scooters than they do cyclists.  Abuse shouted out from motorists to get off the road is common place my fellow scooter owners tell me, and although I personally in my short riding's out haven't had any nastiness as yet from a motorist, one does definitely feel unwanted and uncomfortable at taking up road space which I certainly never felt when riding my trike.

I am beginning now to get cross at the attitude towards scooter owners from both motorists and the councils.

Only today I read a newspaper article discussing whether scooters should be allowed on pavements at all, baring in mind that 50% of scooter owners actually do not have any use of their legs.  The article was also complaining that only those with great immobility, (cripples) should be allowed to have one, and others that can actually walk, even a short distance shouldn't be allowed and should be forced to use public transport.  Others are demanding tests and road tax be paid.  Yes, that bloody non-existent road tax crops up yet again.

There are several things that desperately need changing.

1)  Motorists need educating via the highway code on how our roads are actually paid for and how everyone has a right to use them. 
2)  Councils should be forced to put money into the up keep of pavements and shared cycle paths.
3)  The law should be changed on Class 3 road worthy scooters only having the maximum speed when on the road of 8mph.

8mph is lower than all lawful speed limits in any other country.  Electric cycles in the UK have a maximum throttle only speed of 15 mph.  I see absolutely no reason why scooters are kept down to 8pmh.  It's a ridiculously dangerously low speed for our roads.  There is no reason on earth that this couldn't be raised to at least 12 mph which is more or less a cruising speed for a plodding cyclist.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are replying with a non-gmail account please do add your name.