Mobility scooters and the search for some style!

Center Parcs
I’m off to Center Parcs at the weekend. Yes the holiday for energetic, hyperactive types who like to be driven by an activity a minute weekend away. Center Parcs offer peaceful holiday villages set in beautiful rural locations with hundreds of chalets spread over an enormous woodland site. Activities a plenty (belly dancing was particularly good fun) in their large sports halls along with fabulous kids play areas and spa facilities. Now you might ask why I’m going, but it’s a yearly family trip organised by my 89 year old Gran who loves a good family get together. Even if it means that she spends most of the time drinking tea in the cafes, while everyone else rushes off to an activity.

It may sound like an unlikely destination for people with disabilities, but actually they have this area well covered under their Access for All policy. Before you arrive, care requirements staff will help you plan your holiday and arrange for any reasonable adjustments to be made. On their website you can find out about activities that are wheelchair accessible and where you can view these activities should you not be able to take part.

On site, a mobility service is available. A minibus will pick you up and take you to various places about the site. The bike hire area strikes fear in me (my balance is about as good as a one legged duck) but it accommodates by providing wheelchair and mobility scooter hire.

Rugged Hire wheelchair
The downside to Center Parcs for a wobbly legged variety like me is the walking from our villa to the centre, sports hall or spa. This year I nearly considered a mobility scooter following a relapse that affected my legs, but thankfully they seem to be better. I could even have hired a 4 X 4 powered wheelchair from Rugged Hire, who will deliver it to you, and would have enabled me to go off road into the forest.

There is going to come a time when I will need to embrace a mobility scooter. The trouble is I’m 32 (not long since I had a pink kid’s scooter with sparkly bits) and struggling a little with the concept of using one. Would I get funny looks? Will I need ‘L’ plates?
As a result I’ve decided to look into this area and wondered if there’s anything else out there that looks less like a traditional mobility scooter and doesn’t require too much effort? This is what I have found so far:
 

Electric powered tricyclePowered bike or tricycle

Looks like something you would imagine the local postman owning, but very sturdy and would be no effort to ride. The old days when you had to stop on a hill and push are over! Not an easy one to fit in the car though, unless you have a roof rack. It costs £400 for a basic model.

Segway

Segway


Suited George Bush didn’t it? Quite a humorous looking machine, but they do look like a lot of fun. Although at £4800 it is a little pricey.

Recumbent trike

Recumbent bike
A comfortable looking contraption that appears quite relaxing, but quite a size to fit in the car! It would be easier to use than a traditional bike as the two front wheels provide extra stability. Costs from £1000 upwards.


Razor electric scooter E200s

Razor electric scooter E200s
This is suitable for those over the age of 13 and under 220lb (roughly 15 stones). A neat little machine where the whole seat area removes and would fit easily into the car. The downside is the time it takes to recharge – 12hrs for only 45 minutes of riding. Retailing at around £180 it is a more affordable option.

 

Mobility scooter
So I ask the community – have you any suggestions for something I can use instead of a mobility scooter? Or are there any funky looking, well designed mobility scooters out there? If so, please do let us know by leaving a comment in the box below, we’d love to hear from you!

For now I’ve decided that if I don’t manage to find anything different and have to resort to the more traditional mobility scooter, I won’t be getting myself one. If it’s not good enough for my Gran, it’s not good enough for me!

by Claire Litt (online community manager)