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Disabled Motoring UK ambassador Nicolas Hamilton confirmed for second season in the Air Asia Renault Clio Cup UK


 Following his solid racing debut in 2011, Disabled Motoring UK ambassador Nicolas Hamilton will be returning to the Air Asia Renault UK Clio Cup for a second season in 2012 with Total Control Racing (TCR).

The 19-year-old said: “I’m really happy to be racing with TCR in the Air Asia Renault Clio Cup UK this year. I’m with a great team in a hugely competitive series, and the main aim for me this year is to continue to develop my race craft, using the knowledge and understanding I gained last year as a strong base.

“I’m still a novice relative to the other guys on the grid, as this is only my second season of racing, but that won’t stop me from pushing as hard as possible to be competitive. It would be great to reach being a regular top 10 runner during the course of the year.

“I’ve had a focused winter season with a lot of training and work with the team, and I am looking forward to getting started at Brands Hatch at the end of March.”

TCR team principal Lee Brookes warns rivals to expect a more competitive season from the young Hamilton in 2012. “With a year’s experience under his belt, Nicolas is definitely more confident going into this year. He’s made some good progress with various elements of his driving over the winter period, so it will be interesting to see where that puts him at the first race. As always, it is a great pleasure to have the Hamilton family with us again for this year”

Nicolas’ father and manager, Anthony Hamilton, added: “I’m really, really proud, excited and looking forward to the start of this season to see where Nic will be in the field. He’s been training hard over the winter break and has devoted and dedicated himself to keeping fit, focused and healthy and that deserves a good result in 2012. Fingers crossed he can achieve regular top
tens this year.”

Nicolas, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, has been heralded as an inspiration to those within the disabled community. “One of best things from last year was seeing more and more people who are disabled in the paddock,” Nicolas commented. “It’s a great privilege to have inspired people
to overcome their personal difficulties or challenges. To have their support definitely gives me that extra bit of motivation to achieve my goals in the sport, and I cannot wait until the first race”

The BBC documentary ‘Racing with the Hamilton’s: Nic in the Driving Seat’ which follows Nicolas during his debut 2011 season and includes the Alps Challenge which we organised on behalf of Disabled Motoring UK, is due to be broadcast on BBC 1 at 22.35 on Tuesday 6th March 2012.



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Nicolas Hamilton Documentary Date Confirmed


 The BBC have announced that they will be screening the Nicolas Hamilton documentary; 'Racing with the Hamilton's, Nic in the Driving Seat' on BBC1 at 10:30pm on Tuesday March 6th 2012.

The documentary, which will focus on Nicolas's driving career so far, is also likely to feature The Lively Crew and Disabled Motoring UK on the Alps Challenge, which Nicolas, accompanied by the BBC film crew, joined us on in June last year.

We were delighted to be able to sign Nicolas up for the Alps Challenge which we organised on behalf of Disabled Motoring UK and saw a team, which also included Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and children's TV presenter Ade Adepitan, drive a 1930 Argson Mobility Trike from Norfolk, down to Dover, through France and across the Swiss Alps before returning to a prestigious reception at the Houses of Parliament in London.

Nic was so impressed with the charity that he agreed to become an official ambassador on his return to the UK.

We will be tuning in to see if Nic's driving is better than our Director Valerie Bullard's which you can see here. Compare that to the efforts of lead driver Dan McIntyre, negotiating some of the picteresque scenery, before strapping yourself in.

'Racing with the Hamilton's, Nic in the Driving Seat' will be shown on BBC1 at 10:30pm on Tuesday March 6th 2012.



 



Published on 30-Jan-2012 12:00 with No comments  
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Disabled Motoring UK Ask Shoppers not to be Selfish this Winter


 Shoppers are being asked to consider others in the festive shopping rush this Christmas. National disabled motorist charity Disabled Motoring UK are appealing to shoppers to not be selfish when they park their cars in retail areas and ensure that disabled parking provisions are not compromised.

The issue of disabled parking bay abuse is one which affects disabled motorists and their passengers throughout the year, but the problem is particularly apparent in the run-up to Christmas. Increased visitor numbers to retail centres and heightened stress levels creates the perfect condition for rushed parking jobs, which leads in turn to more incidents of parking abuse. In addition to this, poor weather condition can lead more people to take to their cars, further exacerbating parking problems.

Popular television show Top Gear has recently come under fire for parking abuse after presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May parked in disabled bays to discuss the merits of electric cars, while soaps including Coronation Street have also been pulled up for characters parking in disabled bays.

Helen Dolphin, Director of Campaigns and Policy at Disabled Motoring UK said “The festive period is a very busy one for lots of people. We are asking shoppers to remember that many disabled people rely on a car to get around. Public transport is not always accessible and disabled people may not be able to get to the bus stop or station in order to access it. But in order to be able to work, shop and socialise using their vehicle, disabled people rely on being able to park close to their destination. Often people don’t set out to cause a problem for others and don’t realise the impact that their actions can have. We want to show what the impact is and make people aware that there is no excuse for parking abuse.”



Published on 12-Dec-2011 12:00 with No comments  
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Official Statement - Disabled Motoring UK Welcomes Government U-turn Over Disability Benefit


 Disabled Motoring UK welcomes the news that plans to axe mobility benefit payments to disabled people living in care homes are being dropped. The Government had planned to cut the "mobility" part of Disability Living Allowance – currently worth £51 per week - for those in residential care, claiming that existing Local Authority contracts with care homes should cover residents' mobility needs.

However, the highly controversial plan has now been dropped after a raft of criticism from charities, including Disabled Motoring UK.

Helen Dolphin, Disabled Motoring UK Director of Policy and Campaigns said: “I’m really pleased to hear that the Government has finally listened to reason and is not going to cut this benefit for the 80,000 disabled people living in care homes. I’ve been contacted by numerous people with relatives living in care homes terrified of losing this benefit. Without it their relatives would have been rendered housebound and unable to take part in activities outside the home. I’m glad that this threat has now been removed and disabled people in residential care homes will be able to continue receiving this vital benefit.”

An amendment to the Welfare Reform Bill will implement the change.



Published on 02-Dec-2011 12:00 with No comments  
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Disabled Motoring UK Statement on Motability Scheme Changes


 Disabled Motoring UK was saddened to hear the announcement from Motability today that significant changes will be made to the Motability scheme. Although these changes are being made to ensure the scheme is protected in years to come there will be less choice for customers in the type of car they can choose.”

When making the announcement Motability Chairman Lord Sterling said: “Despite meeting the mobility needs of disabled people for over 33 years, it is very important that we are not complacent.  We must continuously strive for excellence by examining and refining all aspects of the Scheme.  During 2011, we have reviewed a number of issues including the range of cars available on the Scheme and the clarity of our policies on how the cars are used and by whom.”

The changes announced today include:

•    Limiting the range of vehicles available to cars with an Advance Payment of £2,000 or less, approximating to a Recommended Retail Price limit of circa £25,000.  These changes will be fully implemented in December 2011.  

•    Limiting the nominated drivers to those who live within 5 miles of the customer in order to minimise the risk of the car being used other than for the benefit of the disabled person

•    Piloting new vehicle technologies to monitor how cars are used where the greatest risk of abuse is perceived.

•    Requiring a Statement of Responsibilities to be signed at the beginning of each lease by the customer and nominated drivers together with the supplying motor dealer to ensure that the key responsibilities of each party have been communicated and are clearly understood.

•    No longer accepting nominated drivers under the age of 21 on the Scheme from January 2012, unless they reside with the disabled customer.  

•    Restricting young drivers under the age of 25 to cars in ABI Insurance Group 16 or lower which also have a power output of 115 BHP or less.

Helen Dolphin, Disabled Motoring UK Director of Policy and Campaigns said: “With so many negative stories in the press it was inevitable that Motability was going to have to make some changes to the scheme. Although it is disappointing that these changes will mean disabled people will have less choice, we know that the longevity of the scheme is the most important thing. The scheme has been running for over 30 years and has helped numerous disabled people to be mobile. We hope that these changes will stop some of the negative press reports and focus future attention on the enormous benefits that this scheme provides to seriously disabled people.”



Published on 20-Oct-2011 12:00 with No comments  
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