Mobility Scooters on Loan – A Scheme Complementing the Existing Special Transport Services in London

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, ridership - demand, ridership - old people


Travel models (Travel demand), Travel demand, Sustainability, Special transportation services, Scooters, Regulatory policy, Policy, Policies, Planning, Motorized wheelchairs, Mobility aids, London, Lending programs, Impairments, Government policy, Aging population


Special transport services (STS) are an important and increasingly popular way to meet the travel demand of those with mobility impairments which could not be satisfied by mainstream public transport. STS are frequently expensive to the service operator but often allow for the social inclusion of a population group previously homebound. In this paper, five special transport schemes available in the London Borough of Camden are described, in particular the “ScootAbility” scheme, which provides mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs on loan. Advantages and drawbacks of all schemes are outlined and possible improvements are discussed. Further the user uptake of the ScootAbility scheme is analyzed through focus group discussions as well as travel diaries. The results are encouraging as they suggest that ScootAbility can fill in some gaps of previously unmet travel demand. The paper concludes by discussing the policy implications and suggesting that complex travel needs of an aging population can only be met by providing a multi-modal approach to STS, which needs to be co-ordinated in order to be sustainable.