Southwold mayor calls for mobility scooter regulations

Image caption,
Mayor John Windell said pavements could be widened to accommodate mobility scooters

The mayor of Southwold wants the use of mobility scooters in the Suffolk seaside town to be regulated.

Mayor John Windell said he had become "concerned" about the use of the scooters after hearing from pedestrians who had experienced "near escapes".

"There's no sound to them, there's no regulation on needing a hooter or a bell, so people don't know they're coming up between them," he said.

Charity Age UK said all mobility scooter users should be given training.

Mr Windell said he did not want mobility scooters to be banned from Southwold.

"What we're asking for is a debate about these scooters and some regulation," he said. "We do understand that they are very necessary and do give people another lease of life.

'Never driven'

"But are they allowed on the pavement? Are they allowed on the street? You see some of them along country lanes - it is a worry."

Mr Windell said pavements could be made wider or lanes introduced to the roads to accommodate them.

Daphne Savage, from Age UK Suffolk, said regulations were already in place for users of mobility scooters but agreed more could be done.

She said: "One of the most isolating things that happens in later life is when you have to give up driving, so it's a really important aspect of allowing people to get out and about.

"But one of the key problems is sometimes people who buy a scooter have never driven, so they're not road aware.

"People should have to have some sort of training course to familiarise themselves with the scooter but people should have ongoing support as well."

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