Metro ban on scooters to continue

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A BAN on mobility scooters on Metro trains introduced after a spate of accidents, including one in Howdon, is to continue.

Transport operator Nexus has spent three years reviewing possible alternative arrangements after four cases in 2007 and 2008 of scooters.

Two of the incidents, including one at Howdon in April 2008, involved scooters crashing through closed train doors.

On that occasion, a man ended up on the track at Howdon while a train was approaching from the opposite direction.

Nexus introduced its ban in 2008, followed straight away by a voluntary review of its decision.

Since then, it has been consulting with access groups and carrying out safety audits.

Because it has been unable to identify ways in which mobility scooters could be carried without posing an unacceptable level of risk both to their users and other passengers, the ban will remain in force.

Powered and manual wheelchairs are still permitted, and the smaller, foldable scooters are also allowed if carried as luggage.

Bernard Garner, pictured, director-general of Nexus, said: “The safety of passengers has to come first, and I am sorry to say that after an exhaustive review, we have been unable to identify how these vehicles could travel safely within the confined spaces of Metro stations and trains.

“I hope this decision will at least allow people who use a mobility vehicle and want to access public transport to know and plan around what is possible and choose an appropriate vehicle if they can for Metro travel.”

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