Council injects £50,000 cash to bring Scootability to the borough

In partnership with Merton Council and Transport for London, voluntary organisation Merton Community Transport is to launch the new Merton Scootability Project with a brand new fleet of scooters. The Mayor of Merton Councillor Martin Whelton will officially cut the ribbon on Monday 1 September outside the Civic Centre in Morden at 10.00am.

Following a cash injection of £50,000 from Merton Council and £20,000 from Transport for London, The Scootability Project will offer greater freedom to people with impaired mobility, old and young, allowing them to travel and shop independently.

Through the project eligible residents will be able to hire mobility scooters as well as powered or manual wheelchairs which are delivered to and collected from their home. The scooters will be covered by insurance, public liability, breakdown and recovery. In addition to the scooters and wheelchairs, indoor and outdoor familiarisation training is offered. People using the service will also be provided with information on the most suitable scooter for them, insurance companies, maintenance, accessibility of local facilities and suppliers.

Anyone who has a mobility impairment and is living in Merton or supporting someone living in Merton can sign up to be a member. Membership is £5 per year and includes a year’s affiliation to Merton Community Transport’s Individual Transport Service. Vehicles are charged out at £5 per day and £10 for two days and weekends. Delivery and collection of the vehicles is free.

Merton Council Cabinet Member for planning and transport Councillor William Brierly said: “This is great news for Merton residents. The council is continually pushing for schemes that improve access for all and this is a great example of us putting our money where our mouth is. The Merton Scootability Project will improve the quality of life for so many people at a very affordable rate.”

Mayor of Merton Councillor Martin Whelton said: ‘This is the sort of initiative we need to see more of as it impacts on so many people’s lives in a very positive way. Scootability will give freedom to those who, in the past, have not been able to get around without relying on others for help.’

Merton Scootability Manager Graham Pain said: “The great thing about this project is that members can hire a scooter, be driven up to central London even with the scooter, do their shopping or sight seeing and be collected and driven back home. In the future we plan to hire out scooters from shopping centres and other points around the borough one day a week and we want to develop a manual wheelchair volunteer buddy scheme to help people who are unable to operate a powered vehicle. If anybody would like to volunteer to support call me on 0203 326 2524. It would be great to hear from them.”