Mobility Scooters

The rising increase in mobility scooters users.

In this day and age Electric Mobility Scooters are big business and having the correct model of Mobility Scooter to fit into your lifestyle can transform the lives of many people with disabilities.

Some of the new brand names now available on the mobility market are startling. There is the Vegas mobility scooter, advertised by displaying on spinning on a rotating roulette board; the brochure description explains that it is a lightweight model and is capable of carrying a driver up to a maximum weight of 21st, with a top speed of 4mph. We have also come across the Taiwanese motorbike manufacturer Kymco who have a shiny new designs for there range of mobility scooters that look like trim four-wheeled Vespas and come in lovely boiled-sweet pastel colours (“golden lemon” and “flame orange”). Up and coming Electric Mobility has a more heavy-duty Luxury mobility scooter in sleek silver, which can travel up to 8mph, this model is fitted with a USB port so you can recharge your mobile and plug-in your SatNav or iPod, and is marketed as the Rascal.

Mobility scooters have transformed the lives for millions of people in the UK with disabilities. As an example: Shaun Greenhalgh, aged 56, has difficulty walking short distances since a fall and ended up with several prolapsed discs when he was in his early 30s. He has been using a scooter for 24 years. He reports; “Like most scooter users, I can walk to some degree, but only with pain and discomfort,” as he examines the models on display at a recent exhibition. “Without it, I would have no life. They might as well have put me down.”

But as mobility scooters have become more popular, they have become more controversial. Although the main growth in the market is the consequence of an ageing population, there is evidence that people with no disabilities are beginning to buy the scooters on the secondhand market (where they can cost as little as £100) because, with no road tax, driving  licence or insurance requirements, they are a cheaper alternative to a car for getting around town at a time of rising petrol prices.

Strictly speaking, it’s illegal to drive a mobility scooter without a disability, but it’s a grey area and in 2010 politicians called on the government to bring in clearer regulations. Transport minister Norman Baker did investigate. In new guidelines published, he recognised that the shopping scooter was in the process of being revolutionalised as a concept, declaring that he had “decided that the legal term ‘invalid carriage’ should be replaced with a more suitable and contemporary term” (without specifying what that term might be). Responding to reports of rising accident numbers, he also reiterated that drivers should not be drunk and need to have good eyesight to be able to operate one.

The increasing rise in sales of mobility scooter vehicles is evident in their inescapable presence in modern shopping centres, rural town centres, and high streets all over the United Kingdom. There are no true statistics that give an accurate sense of how the market is growing, but the Department for Transport offers estimates, suggesting that there are around 250,000 to 300,000 on the road across the UK, four times the total five years ago of around 70,000.

For help and advice when buying a new mobility scooter visit Discount Mobility.


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