Anger over scooter test

Arthur Heaton of Sherwood Drive, Norley Hall, Wigan, has been stopped from using a mobility scooter in ASDA, Wigan, as he has not passed a test for using the equipment
Arthur Heaton of Sherwood Drive, Norley Hall, Wigan, has been stopped from using a mobility scooter in ASDA, Wigan, as he has not passed a test for using the equipment

A FORMER serviceman was left dumbfounded when he was told to have a driving lesson ... to take a mobility scooter around a supermarket!

When Arthur Heaton visited Wigan’s Asda superstore for his regular weekly shop, he asked the customer service desk for the keys to a store mobility scooter as normal.

After having a knee replacement operation in October, the 63-year-old has been using crutches and shopping in the large store can often be a problem.

But according to him, store staff said for him to be able to drive a scooter, he must first take a driving test on one.

Mr Heaton, of Sherwood Drive, Norley Hall said: “I couldn’t believe what they were saying to me. I have been using the store scooters since October, so I know how to drive them.

“A supervisor told me that a disabled worker had to show me how to use one before I could. People don’t need to have a driving test to drive them on roads so why do they need one in the supermarket?

“I was quite angry about this and felt insulted so I went to Tesco who let me use their mobility scooters straight away.”

Currently there is no law stating that users of mobility scooters must take a test or hold insurance for the vehicle in order to use one.

Mr Heaton, an ex-Royal Marine, added: “I can drive cars, motorbikes and 750 ton vehicles, but to make me take a test and show me what to do on a mobility scooter which I have been driving for months, is ridiculous.

“It’s laughable really but I feel this is an insult to disabled people. I think that Asda are going to lose a lot of custom over this because it is something which is completely unnecessary.”

An Asda spokesman confirmed the store was now asking people to become Scooter Club members.

He said: “We want to do everything we can to look after our customers and so we have asked them to give us a couple of minutes of their time to show them how to use our scooters safely.

“We then give them a membership card to our Scooter Club, which they need to show when they ask for a scooter key.

“We are sorry that Mr Heaton has been upset by this request, but we only have our customers’ best interest at heart and hope to see him in our store again soon.”