Scooter claims are insulting

I would like the opportunity to comment on Duncan Barkes’ column in the Worthing Herald (March 28).

Mr Barkes refers to “the growing menace of mobility scooters” and I challenge this statement. Scooters are permitted on all places readily accessible to pedestrians, provided that their speed is limited to a maximum of 4mph which is generally recognised as the average walking pace of humans.

In view of this, are they any more of a menace than the numerous pushchairs and wheelchairs being pushed up to four miles-per-hour pavements and other areas? In fact, scooters are safer, because they have an excellent automatic braking system which brings the scooter to a safe stop when the operating lever is released.

Mr Barkes further asserts that scooter users “roam the highways and byways with no accountability and in borderline kamikaze fashion”.

This is rather insulting. Most scooter users are elderly, mature people and more responsible than he gives them credit for.

Regarding a proficiency test, when you purchase a scooter from a dealer you are shown how it works. It’s not very difficult. There are only two controls; steering, and start and stop. If you’ve driven a car or ridden a bicycle you should have no difficulty.

There is a growing number of people today who feel that people of my generation (I am 89 years old) have outlived our usefulness and are a drain on society. Mr Barkes mentions “the elderly population is growing bigger and living longer”. They should realise that, by using scooters, we are maintaining our independence, avoiding having to ask others for help and thus not becoming a “drain on society”.

A. Brown

Gaisford Road

Worthing