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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006, 08:46 GMT
Wheelchair user wins bus battle
Simon Morris
Mr Morris hopes not to be left at the bus-stop for much longer
A former lorry driver with multiple sclerosis (MS) who uses a motorised wheelchair says his campaign to be able to travel on his local bus has worked.

Simon Morris, 40, from Tairgwaith near Ammanford, has been writing to operator First Cymru for almost a year.

The company have now agreed to find a way of getting his wheelchair on board.

First Cymru says the Department of Transport only requires them to take certain types of wheelchair, not including the sort Mr Morris uses.

Mr Morris, who was diagnosed with MS seven years ago, needs a motorised chair because the mobility in his arms is limited, and he has been campaigning since last March for the right to travel on the bus.

He said that he has to plan even the smallest journey and a trip to his local shops can take 25 minutes.

Simon Morris
My 10 notes are the same as everybody else's 10 notes
Simon Morris

Mr Morris told BBC Wales: "I just want to get out and about rather than rely on other people.

"I can't go to my bank unless my wife if with me. It's stupid things but it means a lot to me.

"I just want independence - it's not much to ask."

Justin Davies from First Cymru suggested there was good news for Mr Morris.

"We are seeking to make modifications to this vehicle, obviously in line with the manufacturer and the manufacturer of the wheelchair lift itself.

"In terms of timescale, I think we're looking at weeks, certainly not months, and definitely not years

However in addition to the campaign with the bus company, Mr Morris has also highlighted access difficulties in other situations.

"If I can't get into a restaurant or a shop, I feel discriminated against," he said.

"I feel embarrassed - I'm a hindrance to them. I don't want to be like that.

"Lots of people like me...are too embarrassed to try because we don't want to be turned away.

"I'll go to bigger places where I know I can get in rather than a little shop.

"My 10 notes are the same as everybody else's 10 notes. It's all got the Queen's head on it, but people look at me and say there's something different about yours because yours is in a wheelchair."


BBC NEWS:VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch Simon Morris contend with access issues in a wheelchair



SEE ALSO:
Station's disabled access review
19 Jan 06 |  South East Wales
MS sufferer in stem cell gamble
11 Jan 06 |  Southern Counties
Wheelchairs prompt safety fears
23 Mar 05 |  Politics
Buses stopped to protect drivers
13 Dec 05 |  South East Wales
Store faces disabled access writ
29 Jul 05 |  Derbyshire


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