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‘Vulnerable’ wheelchair user’s daily struggle for independence – Bury Times

A WHEELCHAIR user has been helped in her daily struggle for independence.

Emily Riley, from Radcliffe, has experienced a five-year battle travelling from her home to the bus stop to get to college.

The 20-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and visual impairment, was given specialist training to navigate a specific route along Chapeltown Road to reach her stop.

But ‘every day’ she was faced with an obstacle which hampered her independence – from parked vehicles to getting stuck on the pavement.

Emily said: “It was really unsafe.

“I have experienced rudeness when asking for help.

“Cars are supposed to park so you can let a wheelchair or pushchair pass.

“It is really important that I can make these daily journeys for my independence.

“If I can’t get to the top of my street, then that impedes me going out.”

While at school, Emily had transport providers who supported her, which often meant she caught a taxi from her home to school.

But Emily said this made her feel ‘different to everyone else’.

When she joined Bury College at the age of 16, Emily was given the opportunity to travel by bus.

She received training and, four months later, was signed off to undertake the route to the 512/513 Cumfybus service alone.

Mum Karen Turner Riley said: “It was fantastic for her to have gained this independence.

“But every day there would be something preventing her from taking the route she had learned.

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