Dunbar janitor's invention catches on

WHEN Ian 'Ibby' Robertson, janitor at Dunbar Primary School, got fed up the numbers of scooters lying around the playground, he put his skills as a lifelong inventor to good use

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 16th June 2010, 4:54 pm

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Ibby has come with a special scooter rack which is now being provided in several of East Lothian's primary schools.

Ibby said: "I'm just that kind of guy. I thought there must be a better system. I looked into metal racks and they were really expensive, so I made my own prototype and stuck it in a corner. The kids really wanted to use it instead of leaving scooters lying around.

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"All good ideas are very simple. It's just me. I like to make and mend. I enjoy the satisfaction of making things and seeing them working. I get a real buzz out of seeing people using them."

Ibby's idea worked so well that people carrying out Community Service Orders with East Lothian Council are now turning out models for schools across the county. Haddington Infant School has recently taken delivery of an 18-space scooter rack and East Linton and Aberlady Primaries are also using them.

One metal scooter rack costs in the region of 650, whereas Ibby's costs 50. Ibby's is made out of locally-sourced wood and made by local people. It's simple, environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and easily relocated if required.

East Lothian Council Cycling Officer Iain Reid added: "Scooting to school for many East Lothian children is seen as the next stage in active travel after walking. However, scooting had become so popular in many of our schools that safe storage had become a problem and the standard scooter racks were too expensive to purchase.

"Now, with thanks to Ibby's 'invention' and Owen McAlpine and his Community Service Team, these innovative, environmentally-friendly scooter racks are now being supplied to our schools.

"Scooting can only be good for the children as they have the opportunity to develop their abilities, skills and road safety knowledge, as they grow and make the journey to and from school. For many children it is the next step before cycling and should be encouraged as we promote healthy active lifestyles."