RETIRED farmer Allan Wells is asking the Highways Agency to take down barriers preventing his motorised scooter from getting onto a country path.
The 72-year-old from Park North, who uses a mobility scooter to get about, regularly uses the path from Coate Water to Chiseldon to enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors.
But since he bought a wider scooter about four weeks ago he can no longer pass between two narrow A-shaped fences at the start of the bridge over the M4.
He said: “Four weeks ago I bought a new scooter which was a bit bigger than my old one. But when I went to Coate Water to go along the path to Chiseldon I couldn’t get through because of the barriers.
“The scooter goes at 55 miles so I can go quite a long way and I use it to go to Chiseldon and then up through Liddington and all around there.
“It’s my way of getting out in the fresh air. I used to be a farmer and farmed all over Toothill before they built houses there and I like to come and enjoy the outdoors.
“I was a dairy farmer and I farmed in Toothill until about 1962 and then in Cricklade, and then I was a taxi driver for 35 years.”
The discovery of the barriers at the bridge over the motorway – which are thought to be in place to prevent motorcycles using the crossing – has left Allan frustrated and has prevented him from enjoying his regular excursion.
He said: “I am quite sad about it actually. And very frustrated and disappointed. There isn’t really any alternative. I’ll have to go all the way up Brimble Hill in Wroughton now.”
Allan believes he is not the only one facing this issue, and is now calling for the barriers to be pulled down. He said: “I know I’m not the only one who must be having problems with it.
“I know my scooter is bigger than the old one but there are ones much bigger than mine and I bet I’m not the only one who wants to get up the path.
“I do think it’s discriminatory against disabled people. I do think they need to take them down.
“I am not entirely sure why they are there but I think they are there to make horse-riders dismount. But I don’t think they are relevant there any more. Horses can use the fields nearby.
“But I don’t think it’s very fair because it’s stopping people from being able to use the path and get out.”
The Highways Agency, which owns the bridge, was unable to make a comment at the time of going to print.