Pensioners in Brighton and Hove could soon be able to use purpose built garages for their mobility scooters.
Brighton and Hove City Council has set out plans for a series of secure parking blocks complete with electric charging points.
It wants to start a pilot scheme by building two of the garages at its sheltered housing in Leach Court, in Park Street, Brighton, and Clarke Court, in Walsingham Road, Hove, which would hold 14 scooters between them.
If they were successful more facilities would be built elsewhere in the city.
The council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Maria Caulfield, will take the final decision on whether to go ahead with the pilot scheme at a meeting at Hove Town Hall today.
If approved the project would be funded using a reserve of £100,000 the council has set aside for “mobility scooter storage solutions”.
The proposals include charging mobility scooter riders a weekly service charge of £4.50, which the council hopes to reduce once the pilot has shown the exact running costs.
The scheme has been proposed, in part, in response to health and safety concerns about mobility scooters being parked in communal areas of housing blocks.
The council said that they had been identified as a fire hazard.
Green Party convenor Councillor Bill Randall said that the council should promote the wider introduction of shared mobility scooters among older and disabled tenants.
He cited schemes set up by sheltered housing tenants at Jubilee Court, Moulsecoomb, and Leach Court near Queen’s Park.
“Older people account for more than 50 per cent of the council’s tenants and their number is growing.
“Mobility scooters could help many of them and disabled tenants maintain their independence.
“But providing storage for the growing number of scooters could prove expensive and impractical.
“The introduction of shared scooters could overcome this problem and, more importantly, make scooters available to those older and disabled people who need them but cannot afford to buy one.
“Furthermore, regular maintenance of scooters could be ensured under a shared scheme.
“Tenants with their own scooters would not be affected, and there might be future tenants who use scooters heavily who need their own.
“However, shared scooters could provide an alternative and affordable solution.
“We have a precedent in the shape of the city’s car club, which is one of the most successful in the UK.
“Let’s transfer a road-tested idea to mobility scooters.”