Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Mobility scooters – pros and cons

Caroline's picture
By: Caroline

There are more than 350,000 scooters in the UK, growing at over 100,000 per year. What issues does this raise for consumers and public policy?

I led a discussion on at the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing (UKAF) last week. Rica’s research on using mobility scooters on public transport and our usability testing  of scooter controls was also discussed. 

Below are the key issues raised by the 50 or so UKAFA’s representatives.  We’d like your views too. .

Key issues on mobility scooters

  • Storage - storing / charging in communal corridors/spaces can cause hazard/safety issues
  • Stability of smaller scooters - particularly 3 wheelers with larger users or shopping
  • Danger for pedestrians in shared indoor and outdoor space - it’s particularly difficult for hard of hearing, deaf and visually impaired people to know a scooter is coming as they’re silent.
  • Third party insurance - should it be compulsory? Apparently this happens in Germany. What about insurance for users at supermarkets and outdoor events where they are hired out for free?  Are they covered?
  • Assessment - is enough help given to choose a suitable scooter and assess suitability/ safe use e.g. eye sight tests?
  • Training - is enough available, particularly for road users? How can take up be increased?
  • Use on buses and trams  how can we increase awareness of the new schemes?
  • Design/build quality including safety/ technical specification standards - how can we ensure vehicles are kept roadworthy and second hand products are safe?
  • Rescue and breakdown services - what is available?

Please tell us your views.


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