Hundreds of disabled drivers will benefit from a vehicle that has been loaned to the Derby Regional Mobility Centre, by MAGIC (Mobility and General Information Centre), Ford Motor Company's telephone information service for disabled and mature drivers.
The Ford Fusion with Durashift EST (semi-automatic) transmission, will be used to provide driving and passenger assessments and tuition for people with disabilities. The Derby Regional Mobility Centre is based at the Kingsway Hospital in Derby. It is part of the Southern Derbyshire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and also receives funding from the Department for Transport.
In the 15 plus years in which it has been operating, it has helped numerous people in the Midlands either continue or return to driving. It is a fully accredited centre with the Forum of Mobility Centres. The experienced, professional staff is committed to enabling clients to achieve motoring independence. It also offers an advice and information service for a wide variety of mobility related issues. Derby Regional Mobility Centre’s website is: www.derbyregionalmobilitycentre.co.uk
Acting centre manager Liz Whiteman said: "We are very grateful to MAGIC for their support. Without the Ford Fusion it would not be possible for us to continue providing the same high level of service for people with disabilities in the Midlands."
The Ford Fusion is aimed at modern urban families. Taller, wider and longer than the Fiesta, the Fusion's higher driving position enables greater all round visibility in busy traffic. Deep windows and expansive front and rear windscreens also improve visibility. Fusion also offers more head, leg and shoulder room than the Fiesta, as well as handily located storage bins and compartments. Rear seats have a simple 60-40 split-and-fold facility to swallow bulky objects up to 2.3 metres in length.
Access is made easier by wide-opening doors and a deep, wide boot helps in the loading and removal of large objects, such as wheelchairs, making it perfect for Motability drivers.
MAGIC was set up to provide free information on driving with a disability to all disabled people in the UK, regardless of what make of car they drive or want to drive. Anyone can call its freephone service on 0800 240 241, but it is particularly useful for disabled motorists, their families, friends, carers and medical professionals. To date, over 281,000 people have contacted MAGIC requesting information about a wide range of topics including:
- The Motability Scheme
- Where to get current information on disability benefit entitlements
- Mobility assessment centres
- Vehicle adaptation companies
- Ford dealers
- Specialist holiday companies
- Ford vehicles and comparative data on other manufacturers' models