Disabled cyclists asked to dismount and push, report shows

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Almost a third (32%) of disabled cyclists have been asked to dismount and push their bike even though they were using it as a mobility aid, according to a new report.

Only 11% were allowed to cycle in a pedestrianised area after explaining they need their bike to get around, a survey of 221 disabled cyclists by Wheels for Wellbeing showed.

The charity claims this demonstrates a lack of consistency in police and local authority understanding of mobility issues.

More than two thirds of those questioned (69%) find cycling easier than walking.

Poor cycling infrastructure was found to be the biggest obstacle faced by disabled cyclists, such as speed bumps or barriers on cycle paths.

The cost of non-standard bikes was also shown to be a key issue.

Wheels for Wellbeing director Isabelle Clement said she hopes the research "sparks a national conversation about inclusive cycling".

She added: "For too long disabled cyclists have been neglected, but we hope this survey will change that."

Paul Tuohy, chief executive of charity Cycling UK, said: "Many people with disabilities are out cycling on our roads, streets and lanes, and not being noticed nor defined by their disability.

"They're cycling for their health, work and for general transport among other reasons, all of which shows the Government must rethink and redefine what constitutes a mobility aid to include pedal cycles."