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Invalid Carriage

The 'invalid carriage': a vital mobility aid or a death trap on three wheels?

News 1976 6 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


The pale blue three-wheeled 'invalid carriage' or 'Invacar' was a familiar sight on Britain's roads in the 1960s and 1970s. The cars were supplied free of charge to motorists with disabilities in their tens of thousands. Following news that the scheme was to be phased out and replaced with a mobility allowance, Helen Piddock talked to Invacar users who feared a return to the old house-bound days.

The Motor Industry Research Association crash tested an invalid tricycle back in 1974 and found that it failed the then minimum standards. Despite these fears they remained popular with users and remain the only true purpose-built car for disabled people. In July 1976 the government announced that the DHSS funded vehicles would be phased out. This was a lengthy process with the final government owned vehicles only being recalled and scrapped in 2003.