This year Bristol Street Versa is celebrating 25 years of helping thousands of wheelchair users stay mobile.
Since first being established in Batley back in 1991, the business has grown to become one of the UK’s largest specialist vehicle converters in the UK, transforming ordinary vehicles to provide people with disabilities transport solutions.
Expanding from a first tender of just 15 vehicles, the Versa range now encompasses a wide variety of models and sizes, from large vehicles capable of transporting eight passengers and a wheelchair user, to smaller vehicles suitable for two passengers and wheelchair user.
A quarter century after first being founded, Bristol Street Versa carries out around 450 vehicle conversions a year. As part of Vertu Motors plc, the business is now forecast to turnover more than £12m, and has recently begun exporting its specialist vehicles to New Zealand, providing transport solutions to the largely rural country.
Just one of the thousands of people who have benefited from Versa’s expertise is 28 year old Phil Coppell from Wrexham. Phil has swapped his Motability allowance for a brand new Renault Trafic wheelchair accessible vehicle, which is specially adapted for comfort and access to allow him to get about with ease.
Phil’s mother Carly Coppell, who drives the Trafic, said: : “Our WAV has been a godsend. Phil gets cabin fever very easily so we’re always out visiting attractions and the beach, which would be much more difficult if the vehicle wasnt so perfectly suited to him.
“When we dealt with the team at Bristol Street Versa, they listened to our requirements and tailored the conversion to make sure we had everything we needed. I really dont know what wed do without the van, it makes life so much easier.”
Jo Ellison, general manager at Bristol Street Versa said: “It’s fantastic that Versa has reached this milestone anniversary.
“The business may have grown considerably in size, and the sophistication of conversions has totally transformed, but the core ethos of customer service and satisfaction remains at the very heart of Versa.
“Each and every vehicle is made for a specific customer. We work with both members of the public and a range of corporate clients to ensure that every vehicle we provide perfectly matches their needs, whatever they may be.”
The Motability scheme enables people with disabilities to exchange their Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, their Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), their War Pensioners Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or their Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) for a new car. Since it was first set up in 1978, Motability has helped over 3 million people gain mobile independence with a brand new vehicle. If you’d like to learn more about Motability, take a look at our timeline here.