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Mobility scooter speed crackdown planned

Newbury Town Council campaign will ask scooter drivers to slow down

Chris Ord


01635 886639

Mobility scooter speed crackdown planned

NEWBURY Town Council is set to launch a crackdown on people who drive mobility scooters too fast in the town centre.

The council has received complaints about the number of scooters whizzing around pedestrians in the busy shopping streets of Newbury, prompting councillors to approve an awareness campaign.

The Share the Space campaign, which will also target cyclists, aims to highlight the dangers of driving the vehicles too quickly and urges speedy users to select the tortoise setting on their scooter.

Proposals to go ahead with the campaign, which will include the printing and delivering of 5,000 campaign leaflets, were approved at a meeting of Newbury Town Council’s planning and highways committee on Wednesday evening (May 31).

The leaflets state: “Newbury town offers an easy, friendly and accessible welcome to people using mobility equipment and the town’s businesses value their custom.

“We do receive complaints that some users drive their scooters too quickly in and amongst pedestrians in the town. If you are easily overtaking pedestrians you are going too fast.”

The leaflets go on to ask users not to “dart out of shop doorways, alleyways and lanes” and to keep their speed controller to the low or tortoise setting.

In a separate leaflet, cyclists are asked to slow down, give pedestrians priority and “get off and walk if necessary”.

The cost of the leaflets is expected to be around £50.

The proposal, which chief executive Hugh Peackocke had recommended for approval, is the result of a survey carried out by members of the council’s pedestrian experience working group.

The working group was formed in November 2015 to identify issues and make recommendations to improve the pedestrian experience in the town.

Working group chairwoman, Jo Day, said: “Occasionally mobility scooters do go too fast.

“I’ve nearly been mowed down by one, so we thought we would just ask everybody, mobility scooters and cyclists, to slow down a bit.

“Most are responsible, but like everything else there is a minority.”

The clampdown has already received support from The West Berkshire Disability Alliance, Newbury Business Improvement District and West Berkshire Council’s cycling officer Caroline Lane.

The Share the Space campaign will launch later this month.

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