Gloucester City Council is changing how it charges for the shopmobility service.

Following a detailed consultation, and subject to approval from the council’s cabinet next week, as of the 1st April there will be changes to the shopmobility service charges.

Since its launch in 2012, the service has been valued by customers and the charges have never been changed. It supports individuals with mobility issues access to the city centre easier, but is not a service that the council has to provide.

As the shopmobility service allows residents and visitors to hire mobility scooters that help them get around the city centre, the council is enthusiastic to maintain it. However it has to be made financially sustainable whilst alternative options for the longer term are explored.

Currently, members of the shopmobility service pay an annual fee of £24. This then allows them unlimited use of the service and free parking. The annual fee will not be changing; neither will the service that is received.

However a small fee of £2 will be charged each time a member hires a scooter. This new fee is still lower then many city centre shopmobility schemes, including Exeter, Hereford and Worcester.

For non-members, there will be a new fee charged at £6.00 a day. This increase will still keep Gloucester amongst the lowest in the south west and lower than the average day rate fee for non-members.

The shopmobility service also hires wheelchairs on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The new charge for weekend hire (Fri-Mon) will rise from £10 to £12.

Cllr Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities at Gloucester City Council, said: “Shop mobility is a valued service we wish to retain for people who live and visit the City, however a review of service charges is long over due and vital to ensure a sustainable future.

“The proposed increases are reasonable and still keep Gloucester amongst the cheapest in the South West when compared to our neighbours.

“The feedback we received from our customers and charitable organisations was mostly supportive and we’re confident this is the best solution for everyone.”

Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk

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