AN attempt to set a new world record in an electric wheelchair by motor neurone disease sufferer Jason Liversidge has been cancelled amid concerns about the vehicle’s stability and strong crosswinds.
A crowd was at Elvington Airfield this morning to see Mr Liversidge, 42, from Rise, near Hull, who is virtually paralysed, attempt to go faster than 55mph in the wheelchair to set a new Guinness World Record.
But the brave bid was cancelled after it emerged that during testing at Malvern the wheelchair had toppled over at speed.
Wife Liz Liversidge said: “The weather is against us. There was some sort of incident and one of the chaps who was testing it came out and sustained a minor injury.
"There are issues of stability and it needs a bit of work. It is a bit disappointing but Jason’s safety is paramount.
“Unfortunately on the day the risk is too much too take.
“We have already had suggestions on changes to make it a bit more stable at speed and we are hoping to get it done in the next weeks and months.”
Work to modify the wheelchair has been carried out at Malvern-based vehicle conversion specialist Indra.
It will have to go to a new set of specialists for modifications.
Indra's general manager Tom Griffin said one of the challenges was that it had to look like a commercially-available wheelchair, but added: “It doesn’t have the right centre of gravity and dimensions for this kind of record. We need to make a few more changes to make it suitable."
Asked why he wants to do it Mr Liversidge has said: “I simply want to leave something behind for the girls (Lilly, seven and Poppy, five) that says their dad was best at something.”