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Wheely good news! Disability scooters launched in South Downs National Park

Wheely good news! Disability scooters launched in South Downs National Park

March 13, 2023

A brand new fleet of off-road mobility scooters is being unveiled at popular sites in the South Downs this spring.

The four-wheeled scooters, which will be available to hire, can cover all types of terrain and will help people with restricted mobility to make the most of the beautiful landscape and views.

To coincide with Disabled Access Day on 16 March, two mobility scooters are being unveiled at Queen Elizabeth Country Park this Wednesday.

Hogmoor Inclosure, Bordon, will also have a scooter available for hire, allowing people to explore the heathland.

And next month two bookable mobility scooters will be available to the public at Seven Sisters Country Park. Inclusive bicycles and a wheelchair trike are also being offered at Cuckmere Cycles, as well as new paddleboard equipment at Buzz Active to help people with additional needs get out on the water.

From April a scooter will also be available at Cadence Cycle Cafe in Cocking, allowing people with limited mobility to access the South Downs Way.

The project has been funded by a £174,000 Defra grant to help more people access the National Park.

Allison Thorpe, who leads access and recreation at the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “With spring on the way, it’s wonderful to be unveiling these off-road mobility scooters and other equipment to help people enjoy the South Downs.

“National Parks are for everyone and we’re committed to giving everybody the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Along with our Miles Without Stiles routes, we’ve really been able to increase our offering to people with mobility challenges and other needs and will continue working hard to create more access opportunities.”

Members of Hampshire RoamAbility will be trying out the scooters at Queen Elizabeth Country Park on Wednesday.

Di Pettet, from Hampshire RoamAbility, said: “It’s wonderful that these mobility scooters will now be available for hire, enabling disabled people to get out in the countryside and enjoy this lovely country park with their families and friends.”

Russell Oppenheimer, Executive Member for Countryside and Regulator Services at Hampshire County Council, which manages Queen Elizabeth Country Park, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the splendour of Queen Elizabeth Country Park and so the arrival of two off-road mobility scooters is fantastic news.

“For the first time individuals using these specialist scooters will be able to access three tracker-friendly trails that wind through woodland and downland.

“The County Council also has plans to install later this year a Changing Places toilet alongside accessible changing facilities and a shower which we hope will help even more visitors enjoy the day to day activities that many of us take for granted.”

For more ideas on exploring the great outdoors, visit www.southdowns.gov.uk/get-active/

The vehicles are specially designed, all-terrain mobility scooters that can be used by those who have difficulty walking because of a mobility impairment to explore three of the County Park’s trails.

Contact Queen Elizabeth Country Park visitor centre to book on 02392 595040 or email qecp.enquiries@hants.gov.uk