What is our campaign about?
According to our latest research, the majority of Disabled cyclists (75%) find cycling easier than walking (often this is because it reduces strain on the joints, aids balance and alleviates breathing difficulties) – with the same proportion using their cycle as a mobility aid, just like a wheelchair or mobility scooter.
And yet, cycles are not legally recognised as a mobility aid, unlike wheelchairs and mobility scooters. As a result, Disabled cyclists regularly encounter difficulties. For instance, of those who use their cycle as a mobility aid, nearly half have been asked to dismount and walk/wheel their cycle, even when it might be physically impossible for them to do so. Typically, this occurs on footways or in pedestrianised areas, where mobility scooters are allowed but cycles and cycling are not.
There is also little understanding of the mobility aid concept, but where there is it is patchy and inconsistent. For example, 14% of Disabled cyclists have been told they were allowed to cycle in a pedestrianised area once they had explained that they use their cycle as a mobility aid. This shows that police and local authority understanding of the issue remains unclear, which causes uncertainty for Disabled cyclists and discourages them from cycling and leading active lifestyles.
What are we doing to change this?
We are working with government, the police and transport bodies to push for cycles to be recognised as a mobility aid, when used by a Disabled person for this purpose – putting them on a level playing field with wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Specifically, we are calling for a change to legislation so that cycles are recognised as a mobility aid (or ‘invalid carriage’), granting them the same rights as wheelchairs and mobility scooters and ensuring Disabled cyclists are not penalised for cycling on footways, in pedestrianised areas, or ‘cyclists dismount’ zones. Cycling can offer tremendous health benefits for Disabled people who, as a group, are already half as likely as non-disabled people to be physically active.
To find out more read our campaign briefing.