The twilight zone

MOBILITY SCOOTERS: Should be used only by the truly needful, who are more affected by joyriders than anyone else.

A SELFISH minority spoiling things for a peaceable majority is one of the most irksome traits of modern western society. Strangely it is made far worse when the self-indulgence comes packaged with a generous serving of stupidity. 

Being forced to negotiate 12 dimensions of airport security because of mischievous terrorists simply isn’t as irritating as having to drink from a plastic cup due to a certain segment of the population being unable to cooperate with glass. 

Matters take a more sinister and upsetting turn, however, when the selfish stupidity of a loud minority threatens the capacity of someone with real disabilities to enjoy their holidays and daily business. 


Mobility scooters in hotels and resorts have long been a source of contention and there have now been moves to ban them completely from premises. 

Many are infuriated by their wildly unregulated use which has bred an intolerable situation whereby corridors are strewn with machinery, making life difficult for the majority of able-bodied guests.

Those who have witnessed the unseemly sight of fisticuffs over plug sockets as certain people battle for the right to be lazy, might argue that mobility scooters are fine outside and that most hotels are fully equipped with ramps, elevators and wheelchairs. 

As anyone who is disabled, or has friends or family members with reduced mobility will tell you, however, gaining equal access and the same levels of comfort afforded other paying guests has been an incredibly hard fought battle, and one which is far from over.

In this respect the idea of prohibition may appear to be the very kind of targeted discrimination that has made life difficult for the disabled since time immemorial. 

Many people have now come out in bombastic support of a blanket ban, enthused about the idea of someone finally putting their foot down with a gutsy level of finality. If your holiday memories were plagued with images of boozed up Brits shrieking and screaming as they screeched around Benidorm on their new wheels, you may well give a fiery roar of approval at such a stance. 

The problem with lurching violently between two extremes, however, is that the people who are most affected by the decision will fall through the cracks of the discourse. 

People tend to look at issues through a moral lens limited to black and white, and absolute bans might resemble the snap judgement of someone driven to the end of their tether. 

As many of our readers have pointed out, there is a smart compromise available which would see hotels and resorts allow a limited number of mobility scooters inside the premises for those who can prove they genuinely need them. After all the blue badge system exists for a reason. 

If we could shift public anger and disgust towards the hire companies and the able-bodied pests who are either too lazy, daft or feckless to resist the urge to embarrass themselves, then in the famous words of Bob Marley “every little thing gonna be alright.” 


  1. Why aren’t the hotels pressing the Police and Town Hal to enforce the law that’s already in place. The Town Hall made a big song and dance about how they were now going to fine those companies who failed to comply with the law yet nobody has heard of anybody being fined.

  2. These things are a real danger in Tenerife,being ridden on the footpaths and coastal walkway from Los Christianos to Las Americas and San Eugenio at full speed by largely able-bodied people who are too bone idle to walk.
    I have seen families,young kids and others on the two-seaters going flat-out with no regard for anyone,many boozed-up coming from bars.
    Nobody in Tenerife,including the police are making any attempt to ensure that these things are rented out by bona fide companies to registered disabled people only and that they do not ride them on the coastal walkway,which carries signs stating it is for pedestrian use only every hundred metres or so,nor are these scooter users required to have insurance,which would be invalid any way if they are ridden on the pedestrian only walkway but nobody,including the police make any attempt to enforce the laws on these things,which are now being rented out by just about every kind of shop in Tenerife to anyone of almost any age willing to rent one,most of whom would never dream of being seen on one of these things in the UK,and it does seem to be mostly UK nationals renting them.
    These things are now parked outside almost every shop for rent.
    It seems to me that nothing will be done until someone is seriously hurt or killed by one of these things.


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