EAGLE eyed readers out and about on the streets of Newton Abbot last Friday would surely have seen the Mid-Devon Advertiser team traversing the town on four wheels.
The excursion about the town was a sounding board for the return of Newton Abbot Community Transport Association’s (NACTA) ‘Shopmobility Challenge.
A popular event in years past, the challenge allowed able-bodied people to get a taste from atop a mobility scooter; prospective participants travel along a set route, determining how accessible, or perhaps not, the town is, and answering questions all the while.
Missing from the calender for the past couple years, the Shopmobility Challenge is to return this year, but before it could go ahead a test-run was in order.
And so it was, that the Mid-Devon Advertiser team, consisting, in this instance, of journalist Ethan Heppell and photo-journalist Steve Pope, took to the streets of Newton Abbot to tackle the challenge.
Details of the route cannot, for obvious reasons, be divulged here, but suffice to say our esteemed photon-collector Steve was put through his paces documenting his colleague on the route around the town.
Manager at Newton Abbot Community Transport Association, Kay Yendall, said: ‘Newton Abbot is known for being a wheelchair and scooter friendly town, with people travelling some distance to use our Shopmobility vehicles to help them get around.
‘Locals and visitors enjoy the easy, level access to shops, market stalls, cafes, parks and attractions.
‘Shopmobility users bring money into Newton Abbot and, although most shops and businesses are wheelchair-aware, perhaps we could all do more to encourage them to stay longer.
‘Our Shopmobility Challenge helps provide probably the best free 45 minutes’ awareness training people could ever receive.
‘We’re encouraging all shops and businesses to nominate a member of staff to compete against other first-time Shopmobility scooter users in a sort-of ‘treasure hunt’ around the town.
‘Our Shopmobility Challenge takes place on Wednesday, March 8 and you just need to phone 01626 335775 to book your place.’