NEWS

Vernon group pushes for full-serve gas bylaw

01/26/2012 03:31 EST | Updated 03/27/2012 05:12 EDT

People living with mobility issues say there aren't enough full service gas stations in Vernon, and are asking city hall enact a bylaw to change that.

Only two gas stations still offer full-service in the North Okanagan city.

Independent Living Vernon, on behalf people with physical disibilites and the aging population, is asking the city to require all gas stations to make a third of their pumps full-service.

Crystal Compton suffered a traumatic brain injury 10 years ago. She's had years of rehabilitation and can now walk with a cane, but says fuelling up her car is still a challenge.

"Walking on ice or in cold weather is very difficult and I will lose my balance and fall."

Sonja Gaudet uses a wheel chair. She agrees something should be done.

"It just seems like a huge effort that somebody with a disability would choose not to do if the option was there."

But local gas stations aren't thrilled with the idea.

Some say the idea caters to a very small percentage of customers, and would cause staffing headaches.

Leona Pederson manages a Shell Gas station on 38th avenue. She says living up to the demands of such a bylaw would be tough at her location.

"It would affect our business. We'd have to have two people on and it's just not feasible in the market place right now," said Pederson.

Vernon city council says it will vote in February on whether it will form a committee to investigate the issue.

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