Workshop for wheels

RETIREE Mal Ferguson spent years working in the mines with heavy equipment but in the past six months he’s been adjusting to a new piece of machinery.

The East Albury resident’s failing health prompted him to invest $3800 in a motorised wheelchair.

“I used to be a smoker and finished up getting emphysema, which is not a delightful thing, and it got to the stage where I walked about 50 metres and I would be standing still trying to get a breath,” Mr Ferguson, 83, said.

“I was in the supermarket and I could not walk up the aisles to get food.”

Mr Ferguson has relished his renewed mobility and now rides his scooter into central Albury at least two or three times a week.

The former Broken Hill machinery installer is one of an increasing number of residents using the vehicles in Albury.

Responding to the trend, Albury Council’s road safety officer Lauren Musil has organised a public workshop for Monday.

“We’ve got an ageing population, so they’re accessing them more and there are safety requirements people need to be aware of as well as responsibilities,” Mrs Musil said.

The council is issuing fluorescent safety vests and orange flags to help scooters and their riders be more visible.

Those attending the workshop, which will be held in the council’s Robert Brown Room at 10am on Monday, are urged to register with Mrs Musil by phoning (02) 6023 8111 before 5pm today.

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