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Scooter woes are due to ‘ignorant motorists’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

Councillor Andrew Woodhead complaining that the council have resurfaced the wrong path

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MOST of the problems faced by mobility scooter riders are down to the ‘ignorance and arrogance’ of motorists and the able-bodied, a disabled former councillor has claimed.

Andrew Woodhead, who was left with spinal injuries 20 years ago after a motorcycle crash, said a lack of training among his fellow scooter riders was not the root of the problems.

Mr Woodhead, a former member of Anglesey Parish Council, spoke after the Mail reported on Caren Jephson’s campaign to force all scooter riders to undergo extra training and be registered like car owners in a bid to reduce accidents.

Mr Woodhead instead believes scooters should be allowed to travel faster and claimed ‘more common sense among car drivers’ was needed.

He said: “With a lot of the problems faced by scooter riders, it’s down to able-bodied pedestrians being pig-headed and arrogant, while car drivers are as just as ignorant as them.”

He said some small areas of mobility scooter regulation could be altered, but described the current situation as ‘broadly alright’.

“I also disagree with the current 8mph speed limit,” he said. “I think we should adopt the Americans’ 15mph speed limit.”

Currently British scooters are limited to 4mph in pedestrian areas and 8mph if travelling on the roads. Roadworthy models have to be insured and registered with the DVLA. Critics, however, including Mrs Jephson, are pushing for regulation to be increased and for all riders to undergo training.

Mr Woodhead said: “The people who are selling them have a responsibility to make sure the people buying them are capable of driving these vehicles.”

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  • Roger10  |  February 28 2013, 5:57PM

    Funny how every kind of road user likes to blame every other road user but themselves. As far as I understand the law if they travel at more than 4mph they are supposed to be on the road not the pavement. They should be paying for insurance and road tax in my opinion and be forced to attend an operators course before use.

  • Cally  |  February 20 2013, 9:56PM

    Well, I'm very sorry for being ignorant and arrogant in thinking that as I'm a pedestrian I have the right to walk on a pavement. And I'm sorry for not having eyes in the back of my head so that I can see a scooter coming up behind me. 15 miles an hour? Maybe on a road but not on a pavement.

  • LCMAPC  |  February 20 2013, 10:25AM

    A correction needs to be made to this article (and this has been asked for and we have been given an undertaking that this will happen, but obviously hasn't) Andrew is not a Councillor at Anglesey Parish Council and hasn't been since the beginning of February so ReaderW he Andrew has not used this as a fall back position as he is speaking as member of the public.

  • lukechad  |  February 19 2013, 2:55PM

    I think scooter users need to realise their place when it comes to using them on a public highway. They are designed and used to help those who arent able to walk to move about, if I was to begin walking along the road then im sure in no time i'd be subject to abuse and "ignorance" from road users too. They are a mobility aid, like a wheelchair, and should be on pavements only and should also be restricted to a walking pace, especially when in town centres and supermarkets.

  • inbedwithmydummy  |  February 19 2013, 1:06PM

    I used to work in Shopmobility in town and we would give people a quick run down of the controls. They are very simple, designed that even if you were to lose the use of one arm (due to stroke etc) you could still use them. Yet, I still see many people who use them balancing children on their laps, babies in arms, overloading with shopping. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. I would certainly say I am not pig headed or arrogant, and do stop to give mobility scooters access to move around me, yet i would for a pram or child on bike.

  • ReaderW  |  February 19 2013, 11:52AM

    Isnt it amazing that Mr Woodhead manages to blame absolutely everyone else other than those driving scooters. Perhaps if Scooter drivers were more considerate of pedestrians and other road users without also having a tendency to be "Arrogant, Pig-headed or Ignorant" there would be less issues overall. As a councillor I suspect he often tends to use the fallback position of blaming everyone else rather than taking a certain amount of responsibility himself.