The following tips have been developed to ensure everyone who shares our footpaths, whether wheeling or walking, has a safe and enjoyable journey.
Plan your route
The City of Melbourne's Mobility Maps help to plan the easiest route and to know how far you can travel before recharging your scooter or wheelchair battery.
Have a ‘Breakdown Back Up Plan’ just in case.
Have a friend or family member’s mobile phone number with you.
If you are a member of the RACV emergency wheelchair and scooter breakdown service, you can call them on 13 1111 for assistance.
Recharge your battery
Some battery recharge points are listed in the City of Melbourne’s downloadable City Eating – An Access Guide. You can also obtain a copy of the Guide and the Mobility Maps by phoning 03 9658 9658, or visiting the City of Melbourne Customer Service Centre at the Melbourne Town Hall (Swanston Street), or the Visitor Information Centre at Federation Square.
Sharing the footpath
Be alert! You will be sharing the footpath with tourists, children, older adults, people with a range of mobility issues, traders, delivery personnel, parents/carers with prams, people using scooters and wheelchairs, and others.
Try to travel at 5 to 7 km per hour, or at walking pace.
Ensure you have enough room to stop safely if a person in front of you suddenly stops or exits a shop without looking. Be cautious when reversing or turning as other footpath users may not be expecting you to do so.
In areas where this is allowed, footpath trading occurs close to the kerbside. The property line must be kept free for use by pedestrians, motorised scooters and wheelchairs. Therefore stay close to the property line when moving along the footpath, but beware of people coming out of shops onto the path of travel.
Lock your equipment
If you need to leave your scooter or wheelchair on the footpath, be sure to lock it and leave it close to the kerbside away from the pedestrian area. Do not create barriers for other footpath users.
Changes in surfaces
Melbourne’s footpaths often cross over laneways, roads, pedestrian malls and car park exits, all of which may have different ground surfaces. Be aware that your scooter or wheelchair may behave differently on different surfaces, particularly if these are wet. Take care and slow down to ensure your safety and that of others around you.
Crossing vehicle areas
When you are sitting in your scooter or wheelchair, it may be harder for vehicle drivers to see you. Avoid travelling on the roadway and cross roads only at designated crossing points. Look for crossings with kerb ramps on both sides of the road for ease of access.
If you cross between parked cars, or travel along the roadway, you are at risk of being injured by passing traffic. Remember – cars cannot always stop in time.
The city can be busy, noisy and very active and there are many things to distract you whilst you are riding on your scooter or wheelchair. So be alert, and look and listen – for your own safety and that of others. Above all, enjoy the ride.