A Shropshire company is helping trainee drivers with special mobility needs to hit the road – thanks to newly adapted vehicles.
The changes mean drivers who are unable to use their right foot can now use their left to operate the brake and accelerator.
One of the first to use the system was Ashley Booth who suffered a through the knee amputation to his right leg due to an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
Dulson Training, with bases in Shrewsbury and Telford, is a driving training specialist and the company has worked in partnership with All Shropshire Mobility to introduce the left foot pedal adaptation for trainee drivers with accessibility needs.
Steve Dulson, Managing Director, of Dulson Training, said: “We have invested in brand new vehicle adaptations in order to offer driver training and improved access to our vehicles for people with specialist needs.
“Working in partnership with All Shropshire Mobility, we now have a removable left foot adaptation for some of our CAT C and CAT C + E (Class 1) Vehicles. It can also be adapted into the PSV D1 minibus, D Coach, Cat B Car and Cat BE Car & Trailer.
“We have also adapted a hand-operated brake to be used instead of the foot brake to further meet adaptive needs.”
The left foot adaptation enables drivers to use their left foot to operate the brake and accelerator, replicating standard vehicle operation. The adaptation is designed to assist people who are unable to drive using their right foot.
“Our friends Martin Davies and Damon Hignett from All Shropshire Mobility fitted the adaptations, which can be cleverly clipped on and off with a quick-release handle, making it quick and easy to adapt the vehicles when drivers need this option for their training,” added Steve.
“We recognised there was a key need for drivers with different accessibility requirements to be able to complete practical training at our Shrewsbury and Telford training and test sites and were therefore keen to offer vehicles which could be adapted to meet their needs.”
Trainee driver Ashley, who passed first time, said he couldn’t recommend Dulson Training highly enough.
He said: “I want to say a massive thank you to Dulson Training for getting me ready for my cat C and cat CE, brilliant service and training provided by John for the cat C and Rob for my cat CE.
“Also a massive thank you to all at All Shropshire Mobility for fabricating a left foot accelerator for both cat C and cat CE. The adaptations worked brilliantly.”
We look forward to continuing to work with All Shropshire Mobility to identify further improvements we can make to our fleet and training sites to make sure our driver training is available to as many people as possible.”
Dulson Training offers adapted and standard vehicle driver training from its test and training centres in Telford and Shrewsbury.
To find out more about the firm’s extensive range of HGV, trailer, and CPC general driver training courses, call 01952 770659 or visit https://www.dulsontraining.co.uk