Yolande Burtonwood, who suffers from arthritis, has said that the closure of her local Shopmobility has led her to feeling like she has “lost her independence” as she can no longer use the mobility scooter service.

Wigan Borough Shopmobility, which was based in Greater Manchester, provided mobility scooter hire alongside other services to people with mobility needs. However, the store closed in January 2018, citing a fall in sales, inflation costs and forecasted salary and pension increases as the reasons for the closure.

A former member of Leigh Shopmobility, Yolande uses crutches on a day-to-day basis but requires a mobility scooter forlonger distances.

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She told the Leigh Journal: “It feels like I have lost my independence with there not being a mobility scooter service in the town centre anymore.

“I used to go to Shopmobility every week on a morning before going shopping. It takes something away from a person’s life not being able to meet up with friends and look around the shops.

“I know the council do not have to open another shop but disabled people should have a voice and I know there are a lot of people in Leigh who would use the services again.

“It would be wonderful if they could do something about it which would give me some life back. I have to do my shopping online now.”

In response, Wigan Council has stated it is looking for a different business to provide services to mobility scooter users.

A spokesman for the Local Authority said: “We have approached a number of private businesses in the borough who could deliver this type of service and offered them support but sadly nobody has yet taken up the offer.

“Although this is not a service the council is directly required to offer, we do understand its importance for residents and will continue to do what we can to find a potential provider.”

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