A news item on BBC News from 27 May 2003 lamented how UK was being left behind by the Segway Revolution. The article lamented the difference in UK attitudes towards the Segway PT compared with USA and France (which was the first EU nation to actively embrace the PT, and was soon followed by Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy and shortly afterwards by almost every other member state). Eight years later, the UK still trails far behind the rest of the EU. Not only is it difficult to ascertain a good reason for this to be the case, UK citizens who are mobility impaired are missing out on the life-changing benefits of the PT and the economy is missing out on tourism revenue. For example, as of early 2011 there are reported to be more than 800 Segway Guided Tours worldwide through cities and around tourist sites – yet only a couple of these are in UK (where they operate on private property only). Compare this with New Zealand, where we have about a dozen businesses offering Segway Guided Tours and Short Rides.
Elsewhere in this same article it is reported how the then US Vice-President Dick Cheney was using a Segway PT to get around his office building when he had an Achilles tendon injury. This may make him the world’s earliest high-profile mobility user, and demonstrates the PT was being used for this purpose right from the start (the PT went on sale to public at the end of March 2003).