Aberdeen firm unveils wheelchair-friendly cars

Council leader Barney Crockett and Co-Wheels co-ordinator Tony Archer launching the vehicle. Picture: Aberdeen City Council
Council leader Barney Crockett and Co-Wheels co-ordinator Tony Archer launching the vehicle. Picture: Aberdeen City Council
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AN Aberdeen-based car club today launched the UK’s first wheelchair adapted vehicle for street hires by the public.

The new service, launched by Aberdeen’s Co-Wheels car club, will provide a car, accessible to wheelchair users, that can be hired by their carers or family on a pay-as-you-go basis.

A club spokeswoman explained: “The new service will remove the need to own such a vehicle for what maybe infrequent use. Many elderly people confined to wheelchairs are unable to get out from their care homes simply because they and their family do not have access to such a vehicle.

“This initiative opens up the potential for families to access the car to collect their confined relations and bring them back into their social life outside the care home environment.”

Councillor Barney Crockett, the leader of Aberdeen City Council, praised the initiative. He said: “In the short time it has been in operation, Aberdeen’s car club has really led the way. It was the first in the world to trial hydrogen-powered cars, it is one of the fastest-growing in the UK, and now it is the first car club in Britain to cater for wheelchair users.

“I think this is a fantastic move and it will make a huge difference to the lives of people whose disability prevents them from getting out and about, as well as to their families, friends, and carers.”

He added: “This wheelchair accessible vehicle is an extremely valuable community resource which I am certain will be in high demand and very much appreciated right across the city. I congratulate Co-Wheels on their efforts in extremely worthwhile project.”

Tony Archer, the car club’s co-ordinator, said: “By providing a car which is accessible to wheelchair users which can be hired by their carers or family on a pay-as-you-go basis, we are removing the need for them to own such a vehicle for what maybe infrequent use.

“Many elderly people confined to wheelchairs are unable to get out from their care homes simply because they and their family do not have access to such a vehicle. This initiative opens up the potential for families to access the car to collect their confined relations and bring them back into their social life outside the care home environment.”

A club spokeswoman said: “This trial project, if successful, may pave the way for other car club areas to adopt this type of vehicle and expand the access to this type of vehicle as a shared resource.”