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Firm to the rescue after mobility scooter is banned from train
7:00am Friday 11th May 2012 in News
A disabled man who was told his mobility scooter would be banned from a leg of his journey to meet the Queen will be able to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party after a Keighley business stepped in.
David and Geraldine Lamb’s plans ran into trouble when they learned that Mr Lamb’s mobility scooter could not be transported by rail from Keighley to Leeds by Northern Rail due to safety reasons.
Mr Lamb, 67, of Cross Roads, Keighley, has been disabled since 1999 when he fell five-storeys from a building while carrying out maintenance work.
The couple’s plight came to the attention of McDowell Distribution Ltd, a haulage and distribution company which has a depot in Valley Road, Keighley, and bosses have agreed to take his mobility scooter to Leeds and bring it back after they have met the Queen.
Stephen Fry, of the firm’s sales and marketing team, said: “We’re very happy to do it. We’d heard about their story and saw it as an opportunity to help people in the community.”
Mrs Lamb described the offer of help as “lovely”. She said train companies needed to make their facilities more accessible.
A spokesman for Northern Rail said: “Unfortunately, there is no standard design for scooters – unlike wheelchairs – and we cannot guarantee that a scooter user will be able to safely manoeuvre their vehicle off the platform, onto the train and into an available wheelchair space.
“We have carried out an extensive risk assessment to increase access onboard the wide range of trains in our fleet and at 463 of the stations we manage.
“However, the results of these show that at the current time, we would not be able to guarantee the safety of scooter users.
“We understand that scooters offer mobility to many individuals, but at present, they are not currently recognised as a disability aid. As such, we are not legally required to carry them on our services, but we are working hard with our industry partners to find realistic solutions for our passengers who wish to use them.”