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Disabled driver criticises Electric Cars infrastructure

david gale behind the wheel
david gale behind the wheel Image credit: bbc.co.uk

A driver with a muscle-wasting disability has criticised the infrastructure behind electric vehicles saying people like himself are being “left behind”.

David Gale is keen to buy a car more suitable for the environment but the lack of accessible charging points has put him off.

The 38-year-old from Templand from Lockerbie has Becker muscular dystrophy and needs a wheelchair, but most charging bays are too small for him to open the door and move into his chair.

Gale has also raised the issue there aren’t enough dropped kerbs and the chargers, charging sockets and cables are too heavy to handle.

When he receives a new car next year under the Motability scheme David would prefer an electric one, but he is wary the vehicle may not be suitable for his needs.

"I don't want to be desperately needing to charge my car only to reach a charging point that I can't use because it hasn't been designed with disabled people in mind," he told BBC News.

"It feels like I'm being discriminated against.

"All charging points should be accessible in the first place, otherwise decades down the line more money will have to be spent to correct them.

"As the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars approaches, it is imperative that disabled people aren't left behind."

Transport Scotland said they are working with the Scottish Enterprise in a bid to make electric vehicle charge points “even more accessible” and the current ones are supported by the Scottish government to ensure they meet guidelines set by the Equalities Act.

David Gale is currently driving an adapted Vauxhall Astra.