Liberty Drives at Hyde Park

Electric carriers help park to implement disability laws

Part of a new initiative by the Royal Parks agency has seen the introduction of two Cushman Shuttle personal carriers at Hyde Park to help provide better access for elderly, disabled and infirm people. The Liberty Drives scheme, established by the Hyde Park Appeal, enables those with limited mobility to see all 142ha of the park by providing half-hour rides in the electric-powered Cushman vehicles, which have been supplied by machinery manufacturer Ransomes Jacobsen. The scheme is operated free of charge and is funded entirely by voluntary organisations. Royal Parks representative Theo Moore said: “The Royal Parks are for everyone. We’re working with Liberty Drives to open up access and improve mobility around the park for those who may otherwise have difficulty in seeing all of what we have to offer.” The shuttles are capable of seating five passengers, together with one wheelchair, and allow for people to be dropped off at different points around the park and be picked up again later. Ransomes Jacobsen international sales manager Richard Tyrell said: “We are delighted that these Cushman Shuttles have been put to work for such a worthwhile cause and that they dovetail with the Royal Parks’ environmental policy, which includes the use of alternative power and cleaner fuels.” The initiative sets the Royal Parks agency in good stead for the GreenSpace conference, Public Parks: Keep Out on 12-13 November in Manchester. It will explore ways to implement the Disability Discrimination Act, which requires green space managers to make reasonable adjustments to the way they provide facilities and services. L Those interested in attending the GreenSpace conference can save 10 per cent by booking on line at www.green-space.org.uk.

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