Thursday, November 16, 2006

Independent Living London closes

The following post is a press release from Emap Public Sector regarding the future of Indepndent Living London, or rather the lack of it.

Independent Living London closes to make way for new initiatives at Naidex

Press Release

October 12, 2006

Emap Public Sector has reluctantly announced the closure of Independent Living London - the South East's leading disability event.

The attendance for last month's show at Alexandra Palace dipped below 3,500, despite a huge effort made to improve access at the only venue in London that is suitable for staging such an event.

Two factors lie behind Emap's decision to close the London show; the fall in visitors since 2003 when it still took place at Wembley, and a drop in the volume of exhibitors, which has also diminished since 2004. In 2003 Independent Living London attracted more than 5000 visitors but the following year, while Naidex was increasing by more than 2000 visitors numbers fell by 7 per cent.

"A big effort has been made to try and make Independent Living London work but unfortunately we have to admit that it is no longer a crucial date in the diaries of health and social services professionals and for dealers," said Fraser Murdoch, Emap Group Publishing Director.

Last month's event still generated many 'positives' and Fraser added: "Naidex is already firmly established as the national show and our challenge now is to make that even more of a key event, especially for OTs and dealers from the south-east.

"We intend to explore the options for discounted, subsidised and sponsored travel packages to and from the NEC when that show takes place in April.

"Anyone who saw the moving & handling or Canine Partners demonstrations at Independent Living London, or the packed open-air seminars, will agree that those formats need to be adopted and extended at Naidex.

"Also, rather than simply running a CPD clinic at Naidex, as we have for the last three years, we will look at embedding CPD across all areas of the show, working, if we can, with the Department of Health to really make this happen in an imaginative and compelling way."

There are also plans to re-introduce exhibitor and visitor advisory boards this year so members can help to decide the shape of Naidex 2007.

The closure of Independent Living London will have no affect on Independent Living Scotland, the key deliverer of supplier products and services to the health and social services and trade market, which will take place at the SECC from March 28-29. More information is available at

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Class 3 Mobility Vehicles

Mobility vehicles are classified into 3 categories by the Highways agency.

Class 1 Vehicles: Manual wheelchairs (chairs without an electric motor)

Class 2 Vehicles: Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters for use on pavements and to cross roads. Maximum speed 4 miles per hour.

Class 3 Vehicles: Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters for use on roads and pavements. Maximum speed 8 miles per hour.

Owners of Class 3 vehicles do not have to hold a current driving licence. However you do have to drive in accordance with the highway code. Your eyesight must comply with the relevant regulations and you can't drive under the influence of alcohol for obvious reasons.

Class 3 vehicles cannot be used on motorways, bus lanes or cycle lanes and although legally entitled to be used on dual carriageways it is not a good idea. You would feel very small, very slow and very vulnerable if you tried it. If you absolutely had to use a dual carriageway the vehicle must be fitted with a flashing beacon style light to make other road users more aware of your prescence.

Lights, rear view mirrors, rear reflectors, indicators and a horn are all required by law if you intend to use your scooter on the road. All class 3 vehicles must have a speed selector as the legal speed for using the scooter on the pavement is 4mph or 6.4kph which is half of the speed of a class 3 scooter. This is done by means of a speed dial on the tiller or a switch to halve the maximum speed.