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Access to specialist vehicles could hamper Paralympics training plans

London, January 2011 – With the London Paralympics just 20 months away, there is a concern that access to transport could hamper the training plans of many of the disabled athletes. With pressure on funding as well as the limitations of public transport, leading specialist vehicle provider, Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH) believes some Paralympics teams may find it difficult to sustain their training programmes if they can’t get access to either adapted or wheelchair accessible vehicles. Tackling this challenge, AVH is offering dedicated resources and services to support the Paralympics teams.

“We know that for a number of Paralympics teams it is a real challenge to access the transportation required to get to training facilities” commented Lorraine Farnon, Managing Director, AVH. “Whilst individual paralympians probably have their own vehicles, when it comes to getting teams together the cost of purchasing vehicles that provide the right level of accessibility is likely to be prohibitive. For these athletes and teams we are offering the option of rental of a range of adapted and wheelchair accessible vehicles.”

Not only will the Team GB teams benefit from the AVH service, but Paralympics teams from other countries will also be able to make use of this resource when they start visiting the UK ahead of the 2012 Games.

AVH is the largest supplier of adapted cars and wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK. The company’s range of adapted cars, MPVs and 4 x 4s mean disabled athletes, whether driving themselves or being taken by coaches, family or friends, can get to training at their convenience. And for athletes competing in team sports, AVH offers minibuses with wheelchair access.

At the heart of the business is a clear understanding of the very specialist requirements of disabled drivers and passengers. Every booking is discussed direct with the disabled user or driver and an adaptations workshop ensures every vehicle is fitted with the appropriate adaptations. AVH drivers are also trained to provide detailed handovers to ensure the customer fully understands the functionality of the vehicle supplied.

“We are committed to assisting all those planning to participate in the 2012 Paralympics”, continued Lorraine Farnon. “We firmly believe athletes should be able to make full use of the most convenient forms of transport for their own needs – and in many cases this would mean using cars or wheelchair accessible vehicles. Being able to rent these vehicles on a ‘need’ basis is, we believe, therefore likely to be the most cost-effective solution as well as taking away the hassle of maintenance and servicing that comes with vehicle ownership.

“We understand that for the disabled community, public transport has its failings and for the athletes training for the 2012 Paralympics it is unlikely to provide the flexibility they need to get to and from training. Short-term vehicle rental provides a much more flexible solution – and we aim to provide all those planning to participate in the 2012 Paralympics with a service that means they can just focus on training and competing.”