Hawick trishaw plans are looking ‘wheely’ good

Hawick Trishaw scheme moves forward.
Hawick Trishaw scheme moves forward.

Teries with mobility problems will be on the road to more freedom if an £8,000 fundraising campaign proves successful.

Cycling Without Age is a global movement started in Denmark in 2012 to help people, particularly the elderly, who have limited mobility get out and about, and are now represented in 40 countries worldwide.

The organisation has 1,200 locations, more than 2,000 trishaws, 13,000 trained cycle pilots who have provided 60,000 elderly people with cycle rides

It provides free use of a trishaw - a motorised cycle - to local nursing home residents and others with problems getting about.

The movement reached Scotland in 2016, originally in Falkirk, and recently a Cycling Without Age group was established in Hawick.

This week more than ten people involved with the group met at Hawick Fire Station to discuss the options for purchasing a dedicated unit for use in and around the town.

Residents at Deanfield Residential Home at Roadhead in Hawick saw the benefits of a trishaw first hand when one of the vehicles was brought down from Falkirk last week in order that people could see it up close.

Cheryl Fowler, a community capacity development worker with the Scottish Borders Council, has been working alongside keen Hawick cyclist Keith Irving to establish a local group.

Cheryl said it would cost £8,000 to purchase a trishaw from Denmark - where they are built - for exclusive use by residents, both old and young, in the Hawick area.

She said: “We are now starting to look at the funding options to buy one. We had a test drive with residents outside of Deanfield last week and they really enjoyed it.

“It will be perfect for use in Wilton Lodge Park. The park has had many improvements but the residents have not been able to see them because of mobility problems.

“This scheme gives the opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the park. The trishaw travels quite slowly so it can stop and they can have a chat with people and enjoy the different seasons. It gives a freedom they currently don’t have, not to mention getting some fresh air.

“Once we have the funding in place it will take about eight weeks to have the trishaw delivered.”

The vehicle will be based at Deanfield Residential Home, where it can also be charged and used by the whole community.