disabled people Archives - Driving Mobility

Disabled Motoring UK launches survey into electric vehicle readiness amongst disabled drivers

Earlier in the year DMUK was granted a small amount of lottery funding to carry out a research project looking into disabled people’s preparedness to switch to electric vehicles (EVs). They are seeking the views of disabled motorists regarding their knowledge of EVs and EV charging infrastructure.


Earlier in the year DMUK was granted a small amount of lottery funding to carry out a research project looking into disabled people’s preparedness to switch to electric vehicles (EVs). We are seeking the views of disabled motorists regarding their knowledge of EVs and EV charging infrastructure.

From 2030 the government is banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and DMUK is worried about the impact that this will have on disabled motorists. Anecdotal evidence which the charity has gathered so far suggests to us that disabled motorists are not prepared for this change. Many think it won’t affect them and an EV is not suitable for their needs but be assured this change will affect all motorists.

More and more electric vehicles are coming to market all the time and battery technology has come a long way since the first EVs hit the roads. Disabled motorists might have ruled out an EV in the past, but there might be something that now suits their needs. Disabled motorists need to start thinking about this switch over now.

Over the past few years DMUK has been involved in several EV projects and the worrying news is that the public charging infrastructure for EVs is completely inaccessible to many disabled motorists. It is thought that roughly 40% of households will not have the facilities and access at their home to have an at home charging point installed, so will be reliant on public charging infrastructure. With the fastest rapid charge taking at least 20 minutes, a big proportion of the population will have to completely rethink refuelling – or what will be the new normal – re-charging! It won’t be a case of just popping to the local petrol station while running another errand or going to work, charging will be the reason for the journey. The way in which we think about getting fuel for our vehicles will completely change.

Access to EV survey

DMUK  is researching the preparedness of disabled people for the switch over to EVs. We will be conducting a survey over the next 3 months asking for disabled motorists’ thoughts on EVs and charging infrastructure. We want to know their opinions and worries surrounding EVs and charging so we can plan our campaigning work accordingly. This project will inform DMUK’s involvement with the EV switch over and provide valuable data going forward to show government and business what needs to be addressed to make sure that EVs and charging is accessible for all.

By completing the survey participants will be entered into a draw to win a £50 M&S voucher. Please complete the survey online by visiting https://www.disabledmotoring.org/campaigns/access-to-ev

Thank you for your participation in this project. The results will be published later in the year.




Disabled Motoring UK

Disabled Motoring UK is the national charity which supports disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. We work with government and businesses to improve parking, refuelling and access provision for disabled people, so that they can access the goods and services that they need. Disabled Motoring UK is not just an organisation for disabled motorists; we also campaign for and support scooter and wheelchair users, families and carers.

The charity is a membership organisation and membership subscriptions is what the charity relies on to continue its work. Full members receive a monthly magazine, access to our information service and discounts on variety of goods and services.


Driving Mobility ‘Centre of the Month’ QEF Mobility Services in Surrey

Michelle Giles, Centre Manager at QEF Mobility Services in Carshalton, Surrey shares some information about the team, their services and the centre’s history, as they celebrate 40 years as a Mobility Centre this year.

Michelle Giles, Centre Manager at QEF Mobility Services in Carshalton, Surrey shares some information about the team, their services and the centre’s history, as they celebrate 40 years as a Mobility Centre this year.

QEF started life in 1934 as a specialist vocational training college for disabled people.  In 1956 Banstead Place was set up to train those who had been categorised as ‘young chronic sick’ in all activities of daily living.

In 1974 the focus of Banstead Place shifted to becoming a specialist unit for young people of school age with disabilities that needed support with mobility and assistive technology.  Most students were full-time wheelchair users or able to walk only a few steps indoors so giving them outdoor mobility skills was key to them developing as young people in society.

The government introduced Mobility Allowance in 1976, a tax-free benefit available to disabled people who were unable or virtually unable to walk.  Although this benefited people ordinarily considered too disabled to drive, QEF sourced modified vehicles, driving instructors and a safe place to train, and decided to develop its own assessment and training programme.

In 1981, Banstead Place Mobility Centre was officially opened but the service was only available to QEF residents.  After receiving a grant of £10,000 from the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) in 1982, QEF was able to make its services available to the public creating the UK’s first mobility centre in the process.

Their fantastic team consists of 29 staff, 5 contractors and 10 volunteers and Michelle feels privileged to work with them.  They have given advice on all kinds of transport including trains, boats, trikes and even a segway. If it moves outdoors, the QEF team can assess it!!

Their driving school provides practical tuition as well as support with learning driving theory.

They also have the Tryb4uFly, a support service specially created by QEF in 2012 to reduce the anxieties and stress for people with disabilities before and during air travel.  We also have an equipment hire service supported by their fundraising team.

Over the last 40 years they have been able to help a lot of people through providing our services: –

  • Over 200,000 people have been helped with information and advice
  • Over 35,000 people have been assessed
  • Over 30,000 hours of tuition have been delivered through our driving school
  • We have welcomed over 20,000 visitors

The QEF team are looking forward to some new initiatives over the coming year including the Police Fitness to Drive referral scheme, opening of 2 new outreach centres, increasing paediatric expertise and services and the expansion of their equipment hire to name just a few.

If you are local to the Surrey area and want to find out more about how the QEF Mobility Services team can help you or someone you know please visit:

Web: http://qef.org.uk/our-services/qef-mobility-services

Tel: 020 8770 1151

Email: mobility@qef.org.uk

#MyDrivingMobility #DrivingAssessments #DisabledDrivers #Surrey


Disabled people to benefit from better journeys thanks to service station funding

Journeys will be easier and more comfortable for disabled people with more than a third of motorway service stations set to have Changing Places toilets.

  • Government awards 22 Motorway Service Areas funding for Changing Places toilets
  • Second round of funding, extended to include A-Roads, launched by Department for Transport
  • Next in series of improvements by the Secretary of State for Transport to create a more accessible transport network, helping disabled people travel safely and with confidence

Journeys will be easier and more comfortable for disabled people with more than a third of motorway service stations set to have Changing Places toilets.

The Department for Transport, in partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK), has today announced the 22 Motorway Service Areas that have been successful in their bid for a share of Government funding for Changing Places toilets.

A second round of funding is now being launched, this time extended to include A-roads, with operators of service stations on these routes, as well as on motorways, invited to bid.

A quarter of a million people cannot use standard accessible toilets and need access to Changing Places facilities, which have more space and equipment. This includes adult-sized changing benches and hoists, allowing people with conditions like muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy to use the bathroom safely and comfortably.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“In a modern country, everyone should be able to travel.

“Despite improvements in some areas, we need our roadside services to be better for the quarter of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.

“This is why we would like to go even further by extending this to the trunk road network. I encourage as many operators as possible to apply for funding, to open up our road network to everyone who wants to use it.”

Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

“I am delighted to be awarding nearly £750,000 to bring Changing Places toilets to 22 more service stations, helping ensure that everyone can use our roads easily and comfortably.

“This is one of the commitments set out in our Inclusive Transport Strategy, an ambitious piece of work to complement the UN’s sustainable development goals – helping make the world more inclusive for disabled people.

“However, we know there is more to do which is why we are working hard on ensuring our wider transport network – not just roads, but railways, buses, aeroplanes and ferries too – is open to all.”

The DfT’s £2m partnership with MDUK was announced last November to bring Changing Places toilets to more motorway service areas.

The fund was launched in April and motorway service area operators submitted their proposals for 50 per cent funding support for specific new Changing Places toilet installations, which are expected to be ready by the early 2020s.

MDUK worked with the DfT to allocate funding which will support each individual operator’s building work and equipment to add Changing Places toilets alongside other accessible facilities within their service stations.

Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said:

“Too many disabled people and their families are excluded from doing things that others take for granted because there are not enough Changing Places. We’re delighted that, thanks to the DfT’s funding, 22 service stations will be installing these facilities.

“This will make it easier for a quarter of a million people to go on holiday, enjoy a day out with friends, or simply visit the shops.

“We won’t stop campaigning until every service station in the country has a Changing Places toilet, and we would encourage businesses who haven’t done so already to apply for funding in the next round of applications.”

The investment is part of the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy which aims to provide equal access to the transport network by 2030, with assistance if physical infrastructure remains a barrier.

Published in 2018, it set out key commitments to improve disabled people’s access across all modes of transport by 2030. Achievements so far include:

  • A commitment to extend the Access for All programme with an additional £300 million, delivering improvements at a further 73 stations between 2019 and 2024.
  • The introduction of the first ever impartial and independent Rail Ombudsman, making sure passengers are heard and that they get a fair deal when train companies fall short.
  • The extension of the Blue Badge eligibility criteria to include people with non-visible disabilities.

The Government announced in May proposals for new, or majorly refurbished, large buildings used by the public to have Changing Places toilets for severely disabled people. This could add the toilets to more than 150 new buildings a year, including shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.

The Changing Places application portal will be open until December.

The 22 successful Motorway Service Area operators are:

Motorway Service Station Motorway County
Moto rugby M6 Warwickshire
Knutsford Services NB M6 Cheshire
Ferrybridge Services M62 West Yorkshire
Reading EB M4 Berkshire
Heston WB M4 Greater London
Hilton Park SB M6 Staffordshire
Strensham North M5 Worcestershire
Tibshelf South M1 Derbyshire
Tibshelf North M1 Derbyshire
Taunton Deane North M5 Somerset
Strensham South M5 Worcestershire
Sedgemoor M5 Somerset
Rownhams South M27 Hampshire
Northampton South M1 Northamptonshire
Northampton North M1 Northamptonshire
Maidstone M20 Kent
Durham A1(M) County Durham
Clacket Lane West M25 Surrey
Chester MSA M56 Cheshire
Gloucester NB M5 Gloucestershire
Tebay SB M6 Cumbria
Birchanger M11 Essex

Disability charity QEF offers free open day for disabled people of all ages to discover latest mobility solutions

QEF will be hosting a free-to-attend mobility open day on 9th October so disabled people of all ages can discover the latest solutions for mobility, including driving adapted vehicles

Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF), accredited by Driving Mobility, will be hosting a free-to-attend mobility open day so disabled people of all ages can discover the latest solutions for mobility, including driving adapted vehicles.

Date: 9th October 2019
Location: QEF Mobility Services, 1 Metcalfe Avenue, Carshalton, Surrey, SM54AW
Time: 10am – 4pm


Michelle Giles, QEF Mobility Centre Manager says: “This event will provide a unique experience for disabled people looking to increase their independence by learning to drive. Our knowledgeable team can provide support and guidance on driving an adapted car around our private track. We’ll also have Occupational Therapists available to help with mobility challenges for both children and adults. Overall the day promises to be really informative and very rewarding.”

QEF Mobility Services is proud to be part of the nationwide Driving Mobility network. Supported by the Department for Transport, Driving Mobility centres offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. Centres operate either as independent charities or within an NHS Trust. QEF is also part of the new regional transport ‘Hubs’ project which now offers additional information-led services regarding accessible bus, train, coach and taxi travel. Help with accessible locations and attractions can also be obtained along with awareness of useful local groups, charities and organisations. Advice on assisted air travel is also a particular speciality at QEF with its Tryb4uFly assessment service.

At the forthcoming QEF Mobility Open Day, there will be a display of the latest assistive equipment and QEF’s professional team will be offering free mobility assessments for children and adults. As part of the ‘Get Going Live’ feature, teenagers with disabilities or individuals new to restricted mobility, will have the opportunity to drive an adapted car around QEF’s private track. Children’s disability charity MERU, part of the QEF group, will also be exhibiting paediatric mobility and accessibility products, and will also be offering free adaptions of children’s toys so they can be used with an accessible switch.

The event will be officially opened by Susan Rogers MBE, Manager for Mobility Centres in England at the Department for Transport. Motability Ambassador, Chris Edwards, will also be in attendance to provide the latest advice regarding the popular adapted vehicle and assistive equipment leasing scheme.

Event highlights:

  • ‘Get Going Live’ – experience driving an adapted car on a private track
    with a qualified instructor. Open to everyone aged 15+
  • Vehicle seating and transfer, mobility scooter and wheelchair assessments
  • Specialist mobility scooter track
  • ‘Bugzi’ assessments – small powered wheelchairs for children under 5
  • Mobility scooter and wheelchair assessments
  • Specialist child car seat advice
  • QEF Tryb4uFly assessments – advice and information regarding air travel with a disability
  • Free toy adaptations so they can be used with an accessible switch
  • Latest information on the Motability scheme
  • All introductory assessments are free on the day if booked in advance.

To book your free introductory assessment  call QEF Mobility Services on:
Tel: 020 8770 1151 or email: