If you are down the shops on a sunny day you can be guaranteed that there will be several people whizzing about on mobility scooters. Sometimes the are driving along the pavements, and sometimes they are on the roads. So, why so many all of a sudden, and are they allowed to be on the paths and the roads? Let’s take a look at this latest trend.
Are Mobility Scooters Allowed on the Paths?
Yes they are! A little research shows that there are several types of mobility scooter, some of which are designed for pavement use, some for road use, and some can do both. There are also some designed for travelling (fold up ones and ones that can be dismantled to go in a car boot), and some are small enough for indoor use. A mobility scooter should not travel faster than 4mph on a pavement or a pedestrian area, and anybody scootering in the Vineyards shopping area should stick to this speed limit. Road scooters (known as Class 3 scooters) can be used on the pavement, but must not break the 4mph speed limit. Many road mobility scooters come with a speed limiter that can be set for pedestrian speeds.
Are mobility scooters allowed on the road?
Yes, road legal mobility scooters are categorised as Class 3, and have all the same rights of road use as bicycles and mopeds. They have a maximum of speed of 8mph – any mobility scooter capable of faster speeds is illegal – and most models have a maximum speed of between 6 and 8mph. As already mentioned, they can also be used on pavements, but must not go faster than 4mph. Here’s the official rules from the Government: Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs: the rules. Note, if there is no pavement, then Class 2 (pavement scooters) can go on the roads. Also, if a pavement is blocked by a badly parked car (that would never happen in Baddow!) or ongoing utility works, then the scooter can go on the road. Road mobility scooters must be registered, but drivers (or are they riders?) do not require a driving licence. Some mobility scooters look pretty cool too – this one is made to look like a Harley-Davidson cruiser!
Why Are There So Many?
It’s down to cost and accessibility. Mobility scooters can now be manufactured for a fraction of the price from 10 years ago, and improvements in technology, especially the batteries that power them, mean that they can go further than ever before. They are also easier to buy, with mobility scooter shops such as CareCo popping up all over the country. So it’s great news for anybody with mobility issues, and benefits our community.
Seeing mobility scooters in Great Baddow is something to be proud of – it means that more elderly and less able people are getting out to the shops and being an active part of the community. They also help reduce loneliness for the owners, especially for those living alone. So next time you see one on a pavement, give them space and a friendly hello too, and if you see one on the road, slow down and give them plenty of space as you pass.