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Disabled Dumfriesshire driver makes electric charging point plea

September 15, 2021

Latest company news about Disabled Dumfriesshire driver makes electric charging point plea

A man with a rare muscular dystrophy said that the weak infrastructure of electric vehicles may cause the disabled to “be left behind”.

David Gale, 38, from Templeland, near Lockerbie, suffers from Becker muscular dystrophy.

He said he wants his next car to be electric, but too many charging points are inappropriate.

The Scottish Transport Agency stated that ensuring accessibility for all is a “core part” of the Scottish government’s approach.

Mr. Gal said that some chargers have too small brackets for him to open the door and sit in a wheelchair.

He also cited curbs that did not fall, as well as problems with chargers, charging sockets, and cables that are too high or too heavy.

Over time, Mr. Gal’s condition will cause muscle weakness and atrophy, leading to more and more severe disabilities.

He needs help with mobility and currently drives a modified Vauxhall Astra.

David Gale says many charging points are not suitable for disabled drivers
According to Motability's plan, he will buy a new car next year, hoping to be an electric car, but he is worried about the infrastructure.

He said: "I don't want to rush to charge my car, just to go to a charging point that I can't use, because its design does not take the disabled into consideration."

"It feels like I have been discriminated against.

"First, all charging points should be accessible, otherwise you will have to spend more money to correct them in a few decades.

"With the approach of the sales ban on new gasoline and diesel vehicles in 2030, the disabled must not be left behind."

Robert Burley of British muscular dystrophy said that Mr. Gale’s situation underscores the frequency with which people with disabilities are considered "after the fact".

'Easier to access'
The Scottish Transport Agency stated that all chargers supported by the Scottish government must meet the requirements of its Good Practice Guidelines.

It stated that this means that the installation should take into account the responsibilities set out in the Equality Act, including issues such as markings and falling curbs.

The Scottish Transport Agency added that it is working with Scottish companies to improve the design of charging points for electric vehicles to make them "easier to use".

It also worked with the Department of Transport and the British Standards Institute to develop standards for accessible vehicle charging points.

A set of consulting standards will be developed next summer to provide specifications for installers and operators in Scotland and the United Kingdom.

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