Lincs park smooths way for out-and-about residents

All aboard: bus journeys from the park are now hitch-free for those with limited mobility such as Clive (above)

All aboard: bus journeys from the park are now hitch-free for those with limited mobility such as Clive (above)

Travel-loving residents at The Elms retirement park in Lincolnshire now no longer need to kerb their enthusiasm for getting out and about.

That’s because the family-owned park has found a way of making its pavement even more friendly to people with limited mobility.

The solution was sparked by Elms residents Clive and Janet Thompson who moved to the park six years ago after running a B&B business in North Wales.

Clive, aged 80, now uses a mobility scooter – but his wife Janet, aged 74, encountered a bumpy problem when they tried to catch the local bus which calls at the park.

There are more than 300 homes on the 60-acre park

There are more than 300 homes on the 60-acre park

The kerb simply wasn’t wide enough to allow the scooter to board the vehicle, and that meant the couple’s wings – rather than their bus tickets – were being clipped.

When the Kinch family, who have owned The Elms for over 35 years, learned of the dilemma, they decided it was time to put the brakes on the problem.

In conjunction with other residents, they worked out a plan to allow the bus to pull up right in front of the park’s reception building by extending a length of pavement and kerbing.

They have also created a dedicated mobility scooter parking space by the bus shelter in The Elms’ car park where the service also picks up passengers.

Tracey Coulson, a director of The Elms, said the mobility moves have been welcomed by many of the residents of the 339 homes on the park:

“Even though this is a community of retired folk, we’re very much a hive of activity with people getting involved in all sorts of activities on and off the park,” she said.

Ready to roll: Janet (above) and Clive are on their way

Ready to roll: Janet (above) and Clive are on their way

“The bus service is very popular for getting into town and exploring the surrounding area, so we were naturally saddened to hear that it was hard to access for some residents.”

“Now, however, we’ve all come together and worked out an answer which means that nobody need stay parked up indoors if they have a yen to travel!” said Tracey.

But she added that residents didn’t need to leave The Elms in order to stay active – not least because the 60-plus acre landscaped grounds have plenty of pathways suitable for mobility scooters.

There is also a busy programme of social events, special interest clubs, keep-fit classes and other regular get-togethers in which residents take part.

There is more information about the park on its website at www.elmsretirementpark.co.uk.

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