Step Free Access Unavailable 306 Days a Year in London Underground

Empty, blue mobility equipment in London against a wall.

As a supplier of mobility equipment in London, 1st Step Mobility know just how important accessibility is to the day to day lives of those living with disabilities or reduced mobility. Steps are something that many people would not bat an eyelid at using, but are an impassable barrier to some, making things like lifts a necessary feature for public transport. As such, it’s very disappointing to hear about the latest statistics regarding step free access across the London Underground.

 

Transport For London have apologised after recent figures have emerged that 77% of tube stations with lifts have been unable to offer full access to passengers with disabilities and pushchairs year round, with the number of days seeing no step-free access totalling 306 across the capital in the past year.

Out of 270 underground stations only 76 have step free access, and of these only 57 have lifts (the remainder using ramps instead), 47 of which were out of operation some time last year, despite seeing regular maintenance checks every two weeks and a full MOT every six months.

Barking station offered the most disappointment with 42 days worth of broken lifts, followed by Tottenham Court Road with 37 and Wembley Central at 31. Major stations including Canary Wharf, King’s Cross and Westminster were not immune, and have also been unable to offer step-free access year round to disabled passengers.

The issue has been described as “a gross insult to disabled people” with calls for TfL to do more to improve accessibility across the capital. In 2016 Mayor Sadiq Khan announced plans to increase the number of step free tubes stations to over one hundred by 2020, though only time will tell if this becomes a reality.

If you’re in need of quality mobility equipment in London the friendly team at 1st Step Mobility are here to help! Simply visit one of our stores and we’ll help you find the aid or device that suits you best. Alternatively, you can book a home visit with us, simply call 0208 551 7260 or email  info@1ststepmobility.com today.

Don’t Want To Move? Future Proof Your Home Instead

Stairlifts in London shown at the bottom of the stairs.

As a company that provides and fits stairlifts in London, 1st Step Mobility know how important it is for many that they remain both mobile and independent. Pain, illness and disability can make all of this difficult and as people grow older they may start to consider downsizing or moving to bungalows for the sake of accessibility. However, this is not the right choice for everyone and you may not want to move because of fond memories, the community, neighbours and friends. So what can you do instead? The answer is to future-proof your home!

Stairlifts

Those with lower (or steadily decreasing) mobility that makes taking the stairs a difficult task may find installing a stairlift to be a great help to them. Some make the decision to move to bungalows to avoid the problem of stairs but this is not always a practical solution for many reasons including upheaval and overall cost. The vast majority of stairways are able to accommodate some kind of stairlifts in London, which you can have installed by experts for a reasonable price – the 1st Step Mobility team even offer a free no-obligation assessment service to check your home’s suitability so you can make the best choice for you.

Bathroom Renovation

Bathrooms are one of the most important areas of the home, but also contain an array of hazards for the elderly or disabled. Renovating your bathroom or just making a few adaptations can make all the difference and can help future proof your home for any possible health conditions. You might want to consider installing handrails, higher toilets, walk-in baths, shower seats, non slip mats and easy turn taps. Here at 1st Step Mobility, we offer a bath lift, which will easily fit into the standard bath size, that will lift the user to the top of the bath, allowing them to get out of the bath freely and independently.

Eliminate trip hazards

Whether removing obstacles or drawing attention to – rugs may need to be removed, or you may wish to paint stair steps contrasting colours to make them more distinguishable from above. Be sure to tidy away things like trailing wires and look into increasing the light levels in your home, as this means trip hazards can be more easily seen and avoided.

If you want to future-proof your home and are looking for stairlifts in London, 1st Step Mobility should be your first stop. We stock a wide arrange of stairlifts for straight or curved stairways – we even offer rental services and an outdoor option. Contact us today for more information on 0208 551 7260 or info@1ststepmobility.com.

Government Charter Set to Enforce Greater Compensation for Lost Wheelchairs at Airlines

A British Airways plane taking off, who have been challenged to provide more help for those dealing with motability in London.

1st Step Mobility have a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with motability in London and as such know just how important mobility equipment is to their users, and know that the loss, separation from, or damage to them can be very distressing, and is something that plagues those who attempt to travel with them by air.

 

It’s no secret that travelling with mobility issues (or mobility aids like a wheelchair) can be something of a nightmare and unfortunately scenes of disabled passengers dragging themselves across the floor in airports are more common that we’d like – but things may be changing.

Those with mobility issues are often at risk of losing crucial mobility aids and equipment when travelling, and this is something looking to be addressed in a new Passenger Charter aimed at improving experiences for disabled and elderly passengers when using airlines.

Starting this month (December) the government will begin amending an aviation strategy aimed at tackling the issues faced by those travelling on airlines with mobility aids including treatment by staff, the ability to bring wheelchairs onto planes, and compensation offered for lost or damaged equipment. This charter is set to be finalised in 2019. At 1st Step Mobility we have a lot of experience in dealing with motability in London, so this is a change we’re welcoming!

The general poor flying experience of those with mobility issues has prompted campaigning from disability rights groups to address the issue, with accessibility being a problem not only for wheelchair users but for passengers with conditions like autism who may require different types of assistance from airlines and staff.

The Civil Aviation Authority will monitor airlines and airports who sign up to this charter and will be given the power to fine those who breach its conditions as well as manage compensation, something which is believed will make a real difference towards the level of accessibility currently seen at airports in the UK.

 

If you’re looking for assistance with motability in London or want to know where you can go to purchase (or rent) a power scooter with help from the mobility scheme, then 1st Step Mobility are here for you. We stock a wide range of motability scooters, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids, which you can browse online or in store – we also offer home visits to those who cannot make it to us. To arrange a no obligation home visit or if you have any questions to ask us, simply contact us today by calling 01322 339 992 or emailing info@1ststepmobility.com

A Christmas “Surprise”: Four Ways to Gift Someone Their Mobility Scooter

A mobility scooter in 1st Step Mobility's selection of mobility scooters in London from their showroom.

As a top supplier of mobility scooters in London, 1st Step Mobility know just how important they are to people up and down the country for a variety of reasons. In fact, when a person in need of one finally gets a mobility scooter, it’s cause for celebration! With that in mind, for any of you with a loved one getting a mobility scooter this December, you might want to have a little fun and consider wrapping it up like a present!

 

Of course, the person using the mobility scooter should be heavily involved when choosing which model to get so that they know the scooter will fit their requirements and is comfortable for them, meaning it won’t exactly be a surprise – but that doesn’t mean that a little fun can’t be had! A mobility scooter can give someone the gift of increased mobility and independence, meaning that actually acquiring it can be a pretty big event – so, all the more reason to dress it up for Christmas, even if it’s opened way before the 25th!

 

The Whole Hog

This method is the most fun, but also the most time consuming! It requires that you wrap the whole scooter, though whether you choose to wrap the whole thing in one go, or wrap individual parts (like the handlebars, arm rests, wheels) is up to you. This is a great option for those who l want to feel like big kids and want to really rip into something – the perfect choice for more free spirits.

 

The Keys

Wrapping the keys is a simple way to present the scooter to a loved one, and the fastest method of wrapping. It’s a more understated gesture, and is perfect for people who might find wrapping the scooter a bit “over the top” or a recipient who has trouble bending to properly unwrap it.

 

Tied with a Bow

Once you’ve chosen your favourite from our selection of mobility scooters in London, why not forget the wrapping paper and simply attach a tasteful bow somewhere on the mobility scooter (the seat or handlebars? Perhaps the basket? The choice is yours!) is the most elegant option to “dress up” a scooter bought in time for Christmas. It’s also probably the most eco-friendly method for the environmentally-inclined out there!

 

As It Is

If the recipient of the mobility scooter struggles with joint pain in their fingers or wrists, you may want to skip wrapping any of it up and simply going with the “naked” approach, where you present it as-is. After all, wrapping up a new mobility scooter is certainly fun, but it’s by no means necessary, and won’t diminish its importance to its recipient!

Looking for mobility scooters in London? Contact 1st Step Mobility on 01708 746654 or info@1ststepmobility.com – you can also come visit our showrooms in London, Essex, or Kent.

Christmas Opening Hours 2018

Christmas Opening Hours

Friday 21st December = 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday 22nd December = 9:30am to 1:00pm
Sunday 23rd December = Closed
Monday 24th December = 9:00am to 3:00pm
Tuesday 25th December = Closed
Wednesday 26th December = Closed
Thursday 27th December = 9:00am to 3:00pm
Friday 28th December = 9:00am to 3:00pm
Saturday 29th December = TBC
Sunday 30th December = Closed
Monday 31st December = 9:00am to 3:00pm
Tuesday 1st January = Closed
Wednesday 2nd January = Normal opening hours
Please note that the opening hours may change due to unforeseen circumstances, please call before travelling. 

Have Yourself An Accessible Little Christmas

A red mobility scooter, provided by 1st Step Mobility who offer mobility equipment in London.

As a supplier of quality mobility equipment in London, 1st Step Mobility pride ourselves in helping our customers find equipment that best suits their needs, allowing them convenience and more freedom than they may have otherwise. The world can be difficult when you need to use a mobility aid, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time – especially at Christmas! Follow these three simple tips, and you’ll hopefully find the season a bit more accessible than usual!

 

Shop Wisely

Shopping can be stressful when using mobility equipment at the best of times, but during the Christmas rush it can be positively nightmarish! It’s best to limit yourself to shopping during quieter periods where crowds are thinner – it’ll be easier to navigate, and there’ll be less noise and stress to deal with.

Of course, you can bypass the trouble altogether and use the internet to shop for presents and Christmas necessities online.

 

Be Prepared

More and more shops are staying open during the holiday period, but stock may be low, and local shops may be closed, making it a good idea to ensure that you have enough food to last during any closures. The same goes for any medication you need, too – ensure your prescriptions are filled before Christmas and you have enough to tide you over the holiday period.

It’s also wise to keep vital equipment like your mobility scooter and mobile charged in the case of emergencies.

 

Find accessible entertainment

Certain attractions and activities can be difficult to enjoy when you rely on mobility equipment in London, but accessible venues do exist! Ask around for recommendations, or search online to find attractions in your area that can cater to you – a good place to start is this list from Disability Horizons.

If you find places you’d like to visit, but aren’t sure of their accessibility options, you can simply enquire ahead regarding what they’re willing to do – more and more businesses (including shops, restaurants and entertainment venues) are willing to accommodate for specific customer needs if you give them sufficient notice.

Of course, the best guarantee of accessible fun is staying at home and organising your own festivities with friends and family – you can throw parties, decorate your home together, play board games, watch films…whatever tickles your fancy.

 

The team at 1st Step mobility take great joy in helping people find the mobility equipment in London that they need, especially when we know how much more the world has opened up for that person as a result. If you’d like to take a look at our power scooters, other mobility aids, or home nursing equipment you can always visit us in store or download our catalogue. You can also contact us on 01708 746 644 with any questions or to arrange a no obligations home visit.

Three Ways to Manage Pulmonary Fibrosis

Girl listening to music, which is a relaxation technique used by people looking to buy mobility equipment online, with pulmonary fibrosis

With health concerns on the rise, many find it more convenient than ever to simply buy mobility equipment online, and we’re glad to be able to offer accessible service to those who need it most, such as those suffering with Pulmonary Fibrosis. In case you missed it, September was officially Pulmonary Fibrosis month, which aims to raise awareness for the condition, and we thought we’d chip in with some tips to help manage it. Of course, first things first: what is Pulmonary Fibrosis? Simply put, it’s the build-up of scar tissue in the lungs, which interferes with oxygen passing between the lungs and bloodstream, which can lead to breathlessness. So, just how can this be managed?

Manage Stress

 

Anxiety, stress, and even brief periods of nerves can aggravate breathlessness, sometimes to a distressing degree (which then, of course, makes things even worse!). Learning relaxation techniques (such as meditation, colouring, listening to music etc) and finding ways to remove stress from your life will make your life a lot easier, not least from being able to breathe more easily!

Look After Your Health

 

Even if you’re looking to buy mobility equipment online, one of the best ways to help deal with the symptoms of Pulmonary Fibrosis is to take steps that will help to increase your lung capacity and keep your body in good shape. Generally speaking, you’ll want to exercise when you can, and to an appropriate level as to not exert yourself – even just walking is better than nothing! Improving your diet and quitting smoking can also help improve your quality of life.

Don’t Push Too Hard

 

Of course, nothing is ever easy, and whilst physical activity may help you manage your condition in the long run, it can also make you breathless in the short term. It’s important not to overexert yourself whilst exercising, and also carry this attitude over towards other element in you life. Learn to delegate difficult chores and tasks to those willing to help. Paying attention to what messages your body is sending to you is also vital – remember that there’s no shame in needing to take a short break and start something again, even if things ends up taking longer than you’d like.

Overall, the best course of action is to find out what works best for you! Ask your doctor for advice on managing your symptoms, and always consult them before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle. You may also want to consider different ways of adapting your lifestyle to fit your new needs, including researching mobility equipment.

It’s so easy to buy mobility equipment online from 1st Step Mobility, as we have a full online catalogue for you to browse from before you choose, and can even arrange at home demonstrations so that you’re absolutely sure things are a good fit before you commit to buying. Call us on 01708 746654 to arrange a home visit, or for more information about any of our products and service. You can also email us at info@1ststepmobility.com or pay us a visit at our Essex, Kent, and London showrooms.

Mobility Accessories

Mobility Scooter Accessories

At 1stStep Mobility we stock a wide range of mobility scooters accessories for all different make and models of mobility scooters and powerchairs, ranging from new batteries to covers and bags to help to provide for storage when traveling out and about.

Mobility Scooter Covers
1stStep Mobility have a wide range of covers for both you and your mobility scooter including the very important tiller cover which only costs £12.00 and help to cover the very important electronic controls within the head which could stops the product from working if it gets wet.  Scooters shelters are also available to help provide shelter when you need a secure place to store the mobility scooter outside.

Bags
Available within all our shops within Essex, London and Kent are a range of bags which provide extra storage for when you are out and about. Normally the bags fits onto the back of seat via a couple of straps. If safety is a big concern then a high visibility bag is recommend to help you stand out to both pavement and road users. If you need a oxygen bottle then a bag can be fitted to help carry this.

Wear and tear parts
We stock a wide selection of parts to help keep your mobility product up and running like new batteries which we provide with a year warranty when we install them Inner tubes and tyres for pneumatic wheels and we can also provide solid tyres for stress free motoring. We also stock a range of chargers and batteries.

Baskets
Many scooter do come with baskets fitted as standard, but on some of them you can get a bigger basket or even get a rear basket or lockable storage box to help you to carry more. Also available is a basket liner with a cover to help keep your items dry.

Rear Holders
At the base on many mobility scooter you can add additional brackets or holders to help you carry certain items such as crutch walking sticks or even a rollators

Ramps
From rubber threshold ramps to 6ft foldable suitcase ramps we can supply them all. If you are unsure of what ramp will be best for you then please give us a call and one of our advisers will help you pick the correct one.

USB Charging Sockets
Usb Charging sockets are a very modern feature which has only appeared on a selection of new mobility scooters are, but a few of the companies which make the mobility products are producing a simple device with goes into the charging socket and allows you to charge your mobile devices on the move.

For more information download our catalogue or visit your local 1stStep mobility shop within Essex, London and Kent today!

 

 

Pumpkin Coloured Kymco Midi

Pumkin Coloured Kymco Midi

Why not add that extra little touch to your halloween costume this year with a pumpkin coloured mobility scooter.

The Midi XLS from Kymco is the new and improved version of the popular Midi XL and is a slimmed down version of the ever popular Kymco Maxi XLS. It is designed for a scooter user who doesn’t need the heavy duty aspects of the bigger “Maxi”, but a user who still wants to enjoy the power and luxury features of its bigger brother.

The Kymco Midi XLS now has the fully adjustable, all round suspension system featured on the Maxi model, along with a comfortable and adjustable Captains seat, all wrapped up in a more compact chassis which means that you will find it is easier to handle on paths and pavements or more restricted spaces. 

Behind the two-tone front modesty panel is a conveniently placed basket to keep your personal effects close by. 

The Midi XLS however is still a very robust scooter having a maximum user weight of 25 stone and, will carry you for up to 25 miles on a single battery charge.

Contact you local 1st Step mobility shop or give us a call on 01708 746654 to arrange a free home demonstration today!

What Are Medium Range Mobility Scooters?

What Are Medium Range Mobility Scooters?

Scooters available at 1st Step Mobility

Medium range mobility scooters covers the biggest range of mobility scooter on the market and is ideal for people who don’t need a portable scooter but don’t what a large 8mph mobility scooter ether but do what the bigger range of miles and comfort to be able to leave the house and visit local shops.

Many medium range scooters will provide around 20 miles per charger (but this does depend on many factors) but are often fitted with pneumatic tyres (air filled) and a large padded seat providing more comfort then their portable little brothers. Some even have suspension fitted to ensure a smoother ride when travelling along the pavements and even though they are not allowed on the road they still have lights fitted to ensure that the user is seen by both pavement and road users when travelling to increasing safety.

One of the biggest benefits of a medium size scooter is of course its size, big enough to provide the distance and smooth ride but still small enough to allow you to drive and negotiate within small local shops.

Many 8mph scooters could be classed as medium range scooters due to the size of both the batteries and the scooter itself and are fitted with a switch which reduces the speed to 4mph but it is still advisable to drive even slower in built up area.

Below is a small selection of scooters within the Medium range market.