Scooter campaigners take fight to equality commission

HUMAN rights activists are being asked to step in to the Metro scooter ban controversy.

A ban on all mobility scooters was imposed on the train system last month.

And now Nancy Porter has sent a dossier of Chronicle cuttings and statements from scooter users to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

She claims the ban is in conflict with human rights and disability discrimination laws.

The Commission will now consider the evidence and decide whether to call an arbitration hearing.

Nancy, 58, of Falstone Square, Gosforth, Newcastle, has recently bought a £2,000 scooter.

“I’ve lost my freedom now,” said Nancy, who slipped a disc 13 years ago. “We want somebody independent to hear both sides. We really feel our human rights to be able to travel and live have been walked all over.”

Nancy, a former nurse, added: “I collected 1,000 names on a petition from people against the first ban. It’s affecting people’s freedom and social lives.”

A spokesman for Nexus today stood by the decision, which covers all Metro stations, adding: “We don’t believe our actions to be discriminatory.

“We have taken the decision to ban mobility scooters for safety reasons.”

The ban came after a series of incidents where users cheated death or serious injury.

Nexus imposed the new rule, which overrides the restriction laid down in April banning scooter users unless they were accompanied.

Defending the ban, Nexus chiefs released CCTV footage of scooters and their passengers shooting off platforms and ploughing through train doors.

In one, a woman was seen boarding a train and crashing through doors on the other side of the carriage on to the track – minutes before another train hurtled through the station on the opposite line.

Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, said: “If a scooter fell on to the Metro line, its user could be killed. That risk is not acceptable.”

Nexus will review the ban in six months. There were around 200 to 300 mobility scooters using Metro trains before April’s initial ban on lone travellers.

There have been four accidents in the last 15 months in which scooters have fallen on to lines.

Source: www.chroniclelive.co.uk

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