Gran's 300 mile mobility scooter challenge leaves her ROBBED, ARRESTED and sleeping rough

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Epic journey: Tracey completed a 300-mile journey - at 4mph
Cavendish Press

Gran Tracey Vinyard set herself a bizarre challenge - travelling 300 miles from her home to London on a 4mph mobility scooter.
But her epic two-week trek left her robbed, arrested, sleeping rough, towed and lost... and when she reached her final destination at her dad’s house, he wasn’t home.
What is even odder is that Tracey, 50, doesn’t need to use a scooter, but is passionate about rights for the disabled.
Tracey, who runs a B&B in Blackpool, Lancashire, said: “I was think about something unusual to do that would highlight disability access.
“I came up with a rough route and just set off.
“Most people told me that I wouldn’t get as far as Preston, but I proved them wrong.”
Tracey, a former pub landlord who has three children and seven grandchildren, set off with no hotel bookings or anywhere to stay on the trip.
She said she had no idea how long the journey would take and she had no tent.
She just had one pink suitcase and a couple of old laundry bags to cover the batteries on the scooter if it rained.

[​IMG] Barely started: Tracey's scooter outside Buxton Cemetery

She used her mobile phone’s GPS as a map, but that was stolen just four days into the journey when she was robbed outside a McDonald’s in Salford, Greater Manchester, as she was charging her scooter.
At times she spent more than 24 hours at once travelling on the electric scooter, carrying several batteries so she could keep going for long periods at a time.
In total her journey took her from Cleveleys near Blackpool to Preston, Manchester, Stockport, Buxton, Derby, Leicester, Northampton, Luton, Watford and finally London.
Then on her way home she hired a van to take her home only to have a blowout on the M25.
The journey echoes a forthcoming film, ‘The Harry Hill Movie’, starring the comedian and Julie Walters about a man who completes a journey from Blackpool to London by mobility scooter after his pet hamster is given one week to live.
She said: “The first few days were a bit of a nightmare. My brother-in-law was supposed to be my support driver but he had to drop out so I just went on my own.
"I got to Preston but I couldn’t find a hotel. It was very late so I slept under a bush.
“I was so tired that the next day I just went to a guest house and had a lie down during the day. I paid £30 just to get inside.
"At 8pm I set off again and made my way to Manchester.”
After setting off on Saturday, May 11, she arrived in Manchester on the Tuesday, but it was here, after 36 hours without sleep, that she went to a McDonald’s in Salford to rest and charge her scooter.
She said: “I was waiting for the sun to come up and I must have dozed off. When I woke up someone threatened me and stole my phone.
"I was devastated. The phone was my lifeline and my only way to find my way and keep in contact with people at home.”
She was looked after by local police who arranged for her to find somewhere to stay overnight and for a replacement phone to be sorted.
But the next part of her journey proved to be another wrong turn, literally, as she went more than three hours in the wrong direction after misreading road signs in Stockport.
Tracey said: “Three hours later I was back in Manchester. It was a complete waste of time and I was so upset.
"I seriously thought about giving up at that stage. I was using country lanes and side streets to avoid busy traffic so I hadn’t noticed that I was going completely the wrong way.”
In Stockport she went to another McDonald’s for a rest but was arrested on suspicion of of vagrancy after she fell asleep in the restaurant the police were called by staff who were concerned she was “loitering”.
She was released soon afterwards without charge.

[​IMG] End of the road: Tracey in London

In Kettering she was stopped again by police for driving her mobility scooter on a dual carriageway - and in Leicester she had to be towed through the town centre by a kind-hearted delivery driver after she broke down when her batteries ran out.
She accidentally knocked a cyclist off his bike while in the Derbyshire High Peaks but made friends with the injured rider and even stayed at his house for a night so she could do some washing.
After leaving Bedford she saw signs for Clapham and didn’t realise she was following a route to Clapham village in Bedfordshire rather than Clapham in south London that she recognised. That detour took her around a day out of her way.
As she got closer to London she approached her final destination, her father’s home in Bow, East London, which is where she grew up.
But when she got there, two tough weeks after setting off, her father was not home and she had to find her cousin so she could stay the night.
Tracey said: “Sometimes keeping going when everything seemed to be going wrong was really difficult.
“I survived on power naps and the kindness of people I met on the way. It was a great achievement but I am not sure I would try it again.”
Niccolo and Donkey

Of all the places that she chose to scooter through, she picks this place:


She was probably mugged by a disgruntled BBC employee.

A tour of some of the worst places in England, though I remember Buxton being quite pleasant: