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Port Talbot buses are not wheelchair friendly - claim

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

Ann Hurd from Port Talbot who is complaining that she is unable to use most buses as the wheelchair ramps are usually broken

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A PORT Talbot wheelchair user has accused bus firm First Cymru of not doing enough for its disabled passengers.

Ann Heard, of St David’s Road in Sandfields, uses a motorised chair to do her shopping but has been left dismayed she is sometimes unable to get on a vehicle at the Sandown Road bus stop due to its access ramps not working.

“Nine times out of 10 I go to catch a bus either the ramp for wheelchair users is not working or they haven’t got one on the bus at all,” she said. “It happens regularly.

“I have arthritis in the lower spine and trouble with my legs.

“You want to retain your independence and I want to use the buses.”

A spokeswoman for First Cymru said that while they had no record of receiving a complaint from Mrs Heard, they would be happy to meet with her and discuss the issue.

The spokeswoman said: “We are very concerned to hear that Mrs Heard has had problems using our services in Port Talbot.

“We would urge her to contact us, via our customer service department, if and when she has further issues so we can better understand them and resolve them for her.

“Our local management team would also be happy to discuss the matter with her directly too.

“As things stand, while we are fully committed to upgrading our fleet in time for the 2015/17 deadlines set by the Disability Discrimination Act, some of the vehicles that operate Service 224 and 227 via Sandown Road are not yet compliant.

“We are working hard to upgrade our fleet in time for the deadlines and this remains one of our core priorities.”

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