A SOUTH Tyneside charity is hoping to get scooters back on the Metro.
A ban on using the motorised scooters on the transport system was imposed last year after four incidents involving the vehicles were reported in 12 months.
They included a crash at Brockley Whins station, South Shields, in 2007, when a pensioner was left dangling over the tracks in front of an oncoming train after her electric scooter boarded the train, failed to stop and smashed through the opposite doors.
The widow suffered bruising and lacerations on her face and body.
Now Marian Stead, from South Tyneside Central Organisation on Disability, is trying to gather evidence on how many mobility scooter users there are in the borough, and how many would use the Metro if the ban was lifted.
She said: "We'd like to see scooters back on the Metro system, but we need to work together with disabled people and Nexus."
Nexus announced earlier this year it will work with user groups and suppliers to establish the first training course of its kind in the UK to assist mobility scooter users to access the Metro system.
The course, developed with the assistance of local access group Transport For All, is one of a programme of measures being worked on by Nexus with the aim of making Metro safe for scooter use.
Mrs Stead has had a number of meetings with Nexus to discuss reinstating the use of scooters.
Nexus hopes that a course, along with a reform of Metro sign information, guidance, review of station and train design, and of the suitability of different scooter types, will be enough to lift the ban.
A report will be presented to the Integrated Transport Authority in July when Nexus will advise on its decision on mobility scooter use on the Metro.
A Nexus spokesman said: "A course for mobility scooter users is one of a number of measures we are working on."
To register your interest, call Mrs Stead on 454 9707.
The Shields Gazette, 26th May 2009