Bus companies act over mobility scooters

A NEW scheme is being launched in South Yorkshire to make it easier for people using mobility scooters to take them on the bus.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, together with First and Stagecoach, is launching The Scooter Code, as part of a national initiative, in a bid to try to clear up confusion about which scooters can go on buses and which cannot.

Some mobility scooters are suitable to take on buses while others are just too big and can cause an obstruction.

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From this week, there will be a new pass called a Scooter Permit that will show the bus driver that the holder's scooter is suitable to take on the bus.

The passes will be free and will be issued after a free assessment is made of the scooter by either First or Stagecoach.

Passes will then be accepted by all participating operators. To have an assessment done people need to contact the bus companies.

First and Stagecoach are having an official Scooter Code start day at Sheffield Transport Interchange on Wednesday, February 22 from 10.30am to 3pm.

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The firms will be offering to carry out assessments and provide information to people.

Letters are also being sent out to groups representing older and disabled people as well as to the shops that sell mobility scooters.

Posters will also be going up on both operators' vehicles telling the public about the scheme.

David Brown, SYPTE director general, said: “We want users of mobility scooters to be as clear as possible about which buses they can get on. “That’s why this new pass is being introduced that will make it clear to all permit holders and to bus drivers.

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“It isn't a fare card and users will still need to show a concessionary pass or pay their normal fare.”

Powered wheelchairs are not affected by the new scheme and wheelchair users will still be able to use buses as they do at the moment.