Sunday, 10 June 2012

Mobility Scooters on buses

We have received this email from First about mobility scooters on buses, any issues please contact us. 

Earlier this year the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Department for Transport launched a Code of Conduct for the carriage of mobility scooters on low floor buses.  This had hitherto been something of a "grey area", not being subject to legislation, and the increasing use of mobility scooters had led to some disagreement and conflict about their suitability for carriage by bus.  Introducing the Code has sought to address this.

There remains no legislation governing the carriage of mobility scooters on local buses but it is clear that the design of modern vehicles makes them suitable for the carriage of scooters not exceeding a specified size and weight.  Following extensive consultation, and at the request of the Department for Transport, the Confederation of Passenger Transport developed a voluntary Code of Conduct for adoption by its members (which provide over 85% of the UK's local bus services) and by other operators.  Take up thus far has been considerable, with most major operators having adopted the Code.

What this means is that users of mobility scooters who want to travel by bus need to contact their local bus company for an assessment.  With their scooter, which must be of a Type 2 design (rather than the road-legal Type 3), they will be checked to ensure that the scooter's dimensions and the combined weight of scooter and user are within the limits prescribed by the Code, to ensure that they can be carried safely.  They will be asked to board a bus in a controlled environment, to move to the wheelchair area of the bus,and to alight from the bus, to ensure that they are able to control the scooter in a safe manner so as not to endanger themselves or other passengers.  Provided that they pass this assessment, they will be issued with a pass bearing their photograph, which will allow them to use the low floor bus services of the operator conducting the assessment, plus those of any other UK operator that has signed up to the Code, subject to the vehicle having capacity.

For the avoidance of doubt, users of electric wheelchairs that do not exceed the standard reference wheelchair dimensions need not be assessed and will be accepted for travel on low floor buses whenever there is capacity to accommodate them.  

First drivers and customer service staff are all trained in meeting the needs of the mobility impaired, and local assessments of scooter users are being undertaken at all First operating companies.  Please can you refer any enquiries you receive from individuals seeking advice about the use of public transport with mobility scooters to their closest bus operator, be that First or another operator.

I hope that you are able to assist us with spreading the word about the carriage of mobility scooters on low floor buses, and thereby help maximise the mobility of their users.  We would be very grateful if you could forward this information to any relevant organisations you feel should be aware of this scheme.  I am happy to provide them with information leaflets directly if they wish to let me know quantities and address details.

Play area at Vernham Grove

The work undertaken by Somer is looking good, thanks go the team that has made this happen

Planning at Bloomfield Drive/Crescent

We are asking this question at the next development control committee

Since 10/04039/FUL, Land At Rear Of 4 Bloomfield Drive, Bloomfield Drive, Bloomfield, Bath, was refused by the planning department and subsequently by the planning inspectorate at appeal, could the officers detail what has happened with regard to replacing the wall. As this was a retrospective planning permission to a grade two listed building what enforecment is expected and to what time frame