A disabled biker is riding high again after winning a seven-month battle to secure a new home for his ‘lifeline’ trike.
Paul Kelly was left devastated after being told that the garage complex he had used to store his treasured three-wheeled vehicle in for more than two years would be demolished last July to make way for new housing.
The furious 56-year-old even threatened to stage a sit-in protest in the lock-up on Wilfrid Street, Boldon Colliery, after being noticed to remove his belongings from the site by January 24.
But council chiefs have ensured a brighter future is in store for Mr Kelly, by providing new premises for his trike to take pride of place.
He has now moved his trike into a new garage in West Boldon.
The former floorlayer uses the specially-designed trike to visit family and attend bike rallies after a stroke ended his days on two wheels.
It is a relief that it has been sorted out.Paul Kelly
South Tyneside Council said the garage would be demolished after planning approval for the housing bid was granted.
But they said they were working to find an alternative arrangement for Mr Kelly and have now delivered on their pledge.
Mr Kelly said: “I have now got a new garage for the trike on Keats Avenue in Boldon. It is a relief that it has been sorted out. It has been a worry for me for the last few months.”
He added: “When I suffered a stroke I lost the feeling in my hand and it means I can no longer ride bikes.
“The trike is the next best thing for me and means I can travel to visit my family and go to biking rallies. It is my lifeline.”
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: “We know how much Mr Kelly’s tricycle means to him and we are pleased to have been able to help him find alternative suitable premises where he could store his vehicle.”