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Free scooters to help less agile enjoy Central City’s attractions

16 June 2005

A “mixed-ability scooter dance” outside Christchurch’s Art Gallery on Friday morning (17 June) will launch a new mobility scooter scheme in the city designed to help people get around and enjoy the Central City and cultural precinct.

TSB Bank has given six new scooters to the Christchurch City Council to help people with limited mobility enjoy the Central City. A similar scheme has been running in Wellington since June last year and New Plymouth also has TSB-donated scooters to help people enjoy its waterfront park.

From 18 June, the scooters will be available free from the Botanic Gardens, the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, the Arts Centre and at Our City Otautahi -- the Council facility on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Oxford Terrace.

Kevin Rimmington, TSB Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive, says the girft is to thank the region. "We enjoy wonderful support from the people of Christchurch and surrounding districts,” he says. “Involvement in this mobility scheme is one way for us to say thank you -- to reward the region’s people -- for that support."

The electric-powered scooters are safe and easy to use. For some people, walking around the Botanic Gardens or Arts Centre is difficult. The scooters will allow users to do things that fitter and more mobile people regard as everyday activities -- shopping or simply “strolling” to enjoy the arts and gardens. 

The scooters will be available to anyone who has limited mobility, from someone with a broken leg to wheelchair users to the elderly. They can be booked for up to three hours and no payment is needed. People will simply be asked to leave a security item such as a drivers licence, another suitable card or car keys. At each collection point there will be someone who can show new users how to operate the machines.

● Lyn Cotton and Fleur de Their from Jolt, the mixed-ability dance company, choreographed Friday's scooter dance to launch the programme.

● To book a scooter or to find more about them, people are asked to call the Council on 941 8888

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