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Monday, January 24, 2011

Man's Wheelchair "Tank" Banned From Street in Britain

posted by: Robin Marty
Man's Wheelchair  
It's a huge blow for a disabled man in Britain, who was hoping to enjoy the outdoors the way he used to -- his specialty wheelchair has been banned from public roads and sidewalks.

Apparently, it's technically a tank.

Via The Mercury:

"It is ridiculous that I should have found a chair that could help me do all that, then told I could use it, only for the authorities to turn around and say that if I used it on the roads I would be doing something illegal," he said.
Jim has used a wheelchair since 1999 due to chronic back and joint conditions, neurological problems and arthritis which leave him in constant pain.
He was given the chair for Christmas by a friend who had it made by US firm TC Mobility, for £15,000 ($24,000) after Jim found he was limited by his basic wheelchair.
"NHS wheelchairs are fine but when they get to anything other than a flat, even surface they are useless," he said.
"I used to be someone who was very into outdoor pursuits before I had to use a wheelchair and I had hoped the tracks would mean I could get back out and do the kinds of think I used to love doing."

Jim's new wheelchair, which weighs nearly twice as much as the standard approved chairs and scooters, and which comes with heavy threads rather than wheels, cannot be used on public streets and sidewalks due to possible damage to their surfaces, the vehicular department announced.  He is welcome to use it on private land, he's told, but "I have to cross roads and pavements to get to the areas where I can use it," Jim points out, leaving him basically trapped.

As Gizmodo puts it: "At a cost of $24,000, that's one helluva pricey toy to hoon around on in his backyard."