As No Go Britain reveals the stories of disabled people struggling to travel on public transport, Katie Razzall meets a group of campaigners in Wales who are pushing for change.
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Here in Bridgend, I'm getting a real sense of how isolated disabled people can feel if they're let down by public transport, writes Katie Razzall.
I met Julie Thomas, a charismatic, determined, eloquent former headteacher who went blind three years ago. She has stopped using public transport because she finds it too challenging. That decision has had a major impact on her life. She told me she stays in her house a lot, it is isolating, and can spend weeks without going out.
But Julie's leading the charge for change. A group of disabled people have met with Welsh transport bosses to demand that things get better.
Even though we're disabled, our lives are not run differently. We have appointments, we want to see friends, I want to be able to catch a train when I want to. Simon Green
Julie told Channel 4 News: "I want the same quality of service as before. I want the same as I got 3 years ago. I shouldn't be treated differently, but I am, and that's wrong."
No doubt, she'll be treating transport chiefs in the same way she spoke to her schoolchildren; politely, fairly, but firmly, with no sense they can refuse to do what she asks...
Disabled people from around Bridgend in South Wales have been telling local transport providers about some of the difficulties they experience trying to access public transport.
Organised by Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People, the event was attended by 50 people. Many of those were disabled passengers who had been keeping records of their journeys.
The problems highlighted included wheelchair users being unable to access some village buses and visually-impaired or deaf passengers missing their stops despite asking drivers to tell them when they had arrived. Some people said they felt vulnerable and not protected by drivers when using public transport.
There are also concerns about the extremely limited number of accessible taxis being available in the area - one firm has 180 taxis, but only five of them are accessible. Some disabled passengers said these difficulties made it hard for them to access public transport at all.
Representatives from Arriva Trains, bus firm First Cymru and local taxi firm Radio Cabs were at the meeting.
Arriva manages 243 stations in Wales. Only 53 are staffed, and most of those only in the morning. Around half are not fully accessible - although a new accessible footbridge is due to open at Bridgend train station in the next few weeks.
First Buses runs 350 vehicles in Wales. In order to comply with UK law, these need to be fully accessible by 2015, meaning 125 need to be upgraded, and 70 replaced altogether. The company told Channel 4 News it has been proactive in working with disabled customers.They will now include some suggestions made at the meeting in staff training - for example, asking drivers to tell blind passengers where they can find the first free seat.
One of the organisers of the meeting, Simon Green, said: "Wales is fighting back. I want to see the day where it's normal to see a disabled person on a bus or train."
"Even though we're disabled, our lives are not run differently. We have appointments, we want to see friends, I want to be able to catch a train when I want to.
"I've chaired the Bridgend Coalition for years and the vast majority of phone calls and emails we get are about transport - disabled people not being able to get on trains and buses."
Mr Green said the meeting gave disabled passengers the opportunity to share good practices and experiences, which they hope will help transport companies to improve.
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