Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 16:18 UK

Disabled woman's bus trip 'test'

Rosemary Bolinger and Rick
Rick and Rosemary have visited many cities on their journey

A disability campaigner, has completed her mission to cross the UK in her wheelchair using only public transport.

Rosemary Bolinger, 51, arrived at Bangor pier in Gwynedd on Friday after setting off from Eastbourne on Monday.

A trustee of the national disability organisation, Scope, Ms Bolinger has been testing the accessibility of buses and B&Bs for wheelchair users.

Travelling with her son, she described her journey as "testing" as she took in various cities across the UK.

Over the past five days she has visited various cities including Brighton, Basingstoke, Swindon, Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham.

During her road trip with 25-year-old Rick, she tested out buses and coaches for low floor accessibility or wheelchair ramps.

If you turn up and it's not accessible, you're greeted with blank stares, this is why I travelled with my son
Rosemary Bolinger

Using solely her Freedom pass, she said: "Even if the buses' timetables tell you that's an accessible bus route, it often isn't the case.

"If you turn up and it's not accessible, you're greeted with blank stares, this is why I travelled with my son.

"Because as a family we're used to folding the wheelchair up and putting it in the luggage space or somewhere on the bus," Ms Bolinger said.

"But most wheelchair users don't have that luxury."

Mrs Bolinger, who trained as a nurse, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy two weeks after her 40th birthday.

She also wanted to see how easy it was for a wheelchair user to decide to go on an excursion on the spur of the moment and also assessed disabled access to B&Bs and other local facilities.

They have also been stopping at many Scope services and visited schools in the various cities to talk about the problems she encountered along the way.

Rick, a performance artist with a children's theatre in London, has been logging the journey by filming a video diary.

Ms Bolinger's journey ends with a visit to her 21-year-old daughter Laura-Jane, who's studying history and archaeology at Bangor University.

The trip marks Scope's Time to Get Equal Week which celebrates disabled peoples rights and raises awareness about the discrimination faced by disable people.




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