Shoppers with disabilities and injuries will be able to shop at Westquay more easily with the opening of a new service.

Shopmobility has moved from Castle Way to level zero in Podium Car Park in Westquay, where people can hire mobility scooters and powerchairs from its 25-strong fleet.

Westquay offered the space for free and will also cover the costs of utility bills for the first year.

At the grand opening yesterday, Rob Kurn, chief executive of Southampton Voluntary Services which runs the service, said he hopes it will be used not just for those with disabilities but also for anyone who may have a temporary injury and needs to get about.

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He said: “We are delighted to enter this new chapter with Westquay, who have welcomed us into their destination.

"We will continue to provide the same level of excellent service to our loyal customers, whilst looking forward to introducing the service to many more.

“Our new site has allowed us to increase our fleet of vehicles and be at the heart of Southampton’s shopping district.”

Those who have an annual membership of £12 will be able to hire a scooter for the day for just five pounds while non-members will pay £6.50.

Daily Echo: Maureen Leete, 82, and her husband John , 85, from New MiltonMaureen Leete, 82, and her husband John , 85, from New Milton (Image: Newsquest)

Maureen Leete, 82, from New Milton shared how useful this will be for her.

“I wouldn’t be able to get about so easily if I was to come shopping at Westquay without these scooters. My husband would have to push me around.

“It makes a huge difference to have a mobility scooter while going about and buying your bits and bobs.”

Laura Read, General Manager of Westquay said: “We are so pleased to welcome SVS into Westquay to offer a dedicated Shopmobility service, with a team of passionate staff and volunteers

“After our own shopmobility closed during the pandemic we have been looking for a solution to maintain a consistent and viable service, to ensure Westquay remains accessible to all.

“We know how truly important this is for many of our visitors. SVS are a fantastic organisation and I know the team are ready to welcome both familiar faces and new ones."