These barriers are blocking my way

Allan Wells, whose mobility scooter can’t get along the path at Coate Water due to the high metal barriers

Allan Wells, whose mobility scooter can’t get along the path at Coate Water due to the high metal barriers

First published in News by

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.

Comments (13)

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10:23am Wed 2 Jul 14

EmmBee says...

"I have a vehicle which is almost the size of a small car, and I can't drive it on footpaths"
"I have a vehicle which is almost the size of a small car, and I can't drive it on footpaths" EmmBee
  • Score: 21

11:46am Wed 2 Jul 14

woodlums says...

Funny how those barriers weren't discriminatory when he could fit through them.........
Funny how those barriers weren't discriminatory when he could fit through them......... woodlums
  • Score: 18

12:40pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Highworth Lad says...

“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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.
“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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk. Highworth Lad
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Wed 2 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

As long as retired farmer Allan Wells pays to remove and replace the barriers I have no objections
As long as retired farmer Allan Wells pays to remove and replace the barriers I have no objections A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 4

1:14pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Highworth Lad wrote:
“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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.
The bloke has crutches and needs the scooter to get around. Not so simple is it?

With an ageing population with more and more people using mobility scooters to enable them to live an active life shouldn't we as a society try to help them?
[quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: “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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.[/p][/quote]The bloke has crutches and needs the scooter to get around. Not so simple is it? With an ageing population with more and more people using mobility scooters to enable them to live an active life shouldn't we as a society try to help them? Davey Gravey
  • Score: 2

1:28pm Wed 2 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

So on that basis then everyone who buys a bigger car they cant fit in their garage should have a new one built? Sorry but with everything going on in the world that does seem more than a little petty!
So on that basis then everyone who buys a bigger car they cant fit in their garage should have a new one built? Sorry but with everything going on in the world that does seem more than a little petty! house on the hill
  • Score: 9

2:22pm Wed 2 Jul 14

PJC says...

If he uses it regularly, did he not think to measure up before buying a new scooter? I wouldn't buy a new cooker or washing machine before measuring the gap first, it's just basic common sense!
If he uses it regularly, did he not think to measure up before buying a new scooter? I wouldn't buy a new cooker or washing machine before measuring the gap first, it's just basic common sense! PJC
  • Score: 9

3:19pm Wed 2 Jul 14

mrwoo says...

I heard that footpath is popular with cottaging men!
I heard that footpath is popular with cottaging men! mrwoo
  • Score: 2

4:17pm Wed 2 Jul 14

MrAngry says...

The photo clearly shows that this barrier is on the National Cycle Route. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect to be able to drive a disability scooter on a major cycle path. The HA might even be in breach of the law by preventing him access.
The photo clearly shows that this barrier is on the National Cycle Route. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect to be able to drive a disability scooter on a major cycle path. The HA might even be in breach of the law by preventing him access. MrAngry
  • Score: -2

4:53pm Wed 2 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Highworth Lad wrote:
“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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.
The bloke has crutches and needs the scooter to get around. Not so simple is it?

With an ageing population with more and more people using mobility scooters to enable them to live an active life shouldn't we as a society try to help them?
I guess the question is how far do you go helping people and where does the money come from? We have to find a balance between the help we give and being able to afford it. Too many seem to think there is some bottomless pit of taxpayers money that we can use for everything we would like to do to help people, but the reality is we simply don't have the money to help everyone. A bit of reality and bigger picture vison is needed in today's world.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: “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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.[/p][/quote]The bloke has crutches and needs the scooter to get around. Not so simple is it? With an ageing population with more and more people using mobility scooters to enable them to live an active life shouldn't we as a society try to help them?[/p][/quote]I guess the question is how far do you go helping people and where does the money come from? We have to find a balance between the help we give and being able to afford it. Too many seem to think there is some bottomless pit of taxpayers money that we can use for everything we would like to do to help people, but the reality is we simply don't have the money to help everyone. A bit of reality and bigger picture vison is needed in today's world. house on the hill
  • Score: 4

5:28pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Al Smith says...

MrAngry wrote:
The photo clearly shows that this barrier is on the National Cycle Route. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect to be able to drive a disability scooter on a major cycle path. The HA might even be in breach of the law by preventing him access.
The law only requires reasonable adjustments to made to cater for the disabled. If a standard NHS wheelchair and an average mobility scooter (like the one he had before) can fit through then it's probably OK.

I'd be interested to know if any paths he uses are cycles only because according to gov.uk website "You can’t drive any type of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on cycle paths marked ‘cycle only’."
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: The photo clearly shows that this barrier is on the National Cycle Route. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect to be able to drive a disability scooter on a major cycle path. The HA might even be in breach of the law by preventing him access.[/p][/quote]The law only requires reasonable adjustments to made to cater for the disabled. If a standard NHS wheelchair and an average mobility scooter (like the one he had before) can fit through then it's probably OK. I'd be interested to know if any paths he uses are cycles only because according to gov.uk website "You can’t drive any type of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on cycle paths marked ‘cycle only’." Al Smith
  • Score: 1

6:46pm Wed 2 Jul 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Highworth Lad wrote:
“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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.
I always assumed they were there to force cyclists to slow down and not go racing round the bends.
[quote][p][bold]Highworth Lad[/bold] wrote: “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. OMG bit clue less too. I you actually walked, u would have no need for the scooter. I agree they wernt discriminating when he had a smaller scooter. Get out and walk.[/p][/quote]I always assumed they were there to force cyclists to slow down and not go racing round the bends. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 1

3:16pm Thu 3 Jul 14

John~R says...

I had assumed those barriers were put in to prevent larger objects from passing through and potentially overloading the bridge.
I had assumed those barriers were put in to prevent larger objects from passing through and potentially overloading the bridge. John~R
  • Score: 0

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