THE Motability scheme has been in the news lately. It’s a government scheme whereby those that cannot walk or have other mobility problems receive a car.

What members of the public might not realise is that the scheme also pays your insurance and any servicing and roadside assistance.

It is a great deal and genuinely reduces the impact of my disability.

Many are losing this vital service under government reform.

Luckily due the severity of my disability, I am currently in receipt of the benefit and thus a car. It’s a life-saver.

Normally I just pootle along and don’t worry about my car, it’s very reliable.

My car is adapted – that means it has hand controls. This is simply a set of levers that when you pull the paddle the car accelerates and when you push it, it then brakes. It’s all mechanical and really simple.

I have never had any issues with it

That was until this week. I was driving back from London on the A40. As I was passing through a tunnel I braked as I went downhill into the tunnel and suddenly the tension on hand controls disappeared and I was left with a paddle that did nothing and just went back and forth.

No brakes. No acceleration.

Luckily I am a good driver and the traffic was light.

I wove between the lanes as my car slowed coming out of the end of the tunnel. I grabbed the chance and parked on some hatching between a slip road and the A40. Thank God for handbrakes.

Now this is where Motability comes into its own.

I called the helpline. The RAC is dispatched. They check on my health needs and assure me I’m priority due to my disability.

The police arrive and we discuss how to get me out and move the car to safety. More units arrive, and the traffic is stopped to allow to me get out (opening my door into the carriageway).

They drive my car to a petrol station, using the paddles I can’t, and I get a ride in a police car! At the station, I get a coffee and 15 minutes later the RAC man arrives. It turns out a screw fell out and disconnected the paddle from the pedals. A simple new screw replacement. Three minutes later I’m back in business.

It’s quite amazing that I didn’t hurt myself or anyone, but I’m so grateful to Motability, not only for the day-to-day needs that the scheme fulfils but also the comprehensive and slick service when things go wrong. The police are due thanks for their sensitivity and creativity in the puzzle of how to move me.

Every time I have an emergency, I am reminded of how my disability complicates matters but I am also grateful to the organisations and procedures that get me to safety and back to normality.