Every now and then one of my videos shows someone in a mobility scooter using the cycle paths. This is usually completely by chance and to most Dutch this is nothing special. People with disabilities can and do use all types of vehicles, from mobility scooters to hand-operated tricycles, legally on the cycle paths. It gets them from A to B safely without being dependent on someone helping them. In other words; the cycle paths offer people with disabilities a great freedom to travel where they wish.
The laws in Europe for what are old-fashionedly called ‘Invalid Carriages’ vary a lot. If you compare the UK with the Netherlands for instance there are huge differences. In the UK a mobility scooter may only go 8mph (12.9km/h) on the road. That is very slow and most people would think twice about getting on the road and mix with much faster heavy motorised traffic in such a vulnerable vehicle. In the Netherlands motorised mobility scooters have several options. They are allowed to go 45km/h (28mph) on the road, which is only slightly slower than motorised traffic (50km/h or 31mph). But they may also use the extensive cycle path network. On those paths, in the built up area, they are allowed to go 30km/h (18mph). This would be considerably faster than most Dutch cyclists. In reality, most people in mobility scooters use the cycle paths at about the same speed most Dutch cyclists go (20km/h or 12.4mph), so they blend in nicely.