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.

"Quite often she would call and say she was stuck or couldn't get passed something.

"Once I found her wedged in between a parked lorry and a bush.

"She is vulnerable. She panics and gets anxious."

The family contacted Bury Police and Bury Council to ask for help.

Police leafleted residents in the surrounding area to raise awareness and called for drivers to park considerately.

Now Bury Council has taken further action to improve Emily's daily commute.

Council leader Rishi Shori, who is Councillor for Radcliffe West, has organised for yellow signs to be installed along Chapeltown Road to raise awareness.

The signs have cost £60 to put in place, using the new Councillor personal budget of £250 a year, which came into force in November.

Emily said: "The signs have really helped the situation."

Ms Turner added: "We really do appreciate that these new signs have been put up.

"But there is always more that can be done."

Cllr Shori said: "Most people will not be aware of the negative impact that parking fully across a pavement has on those people with mobility issues or pushing children's buggies.

"The signs on Chapeltown Road already seem to be having a positive impact and I'd like to thank residents for their help.

"In some places people are forced to park on the curb due to a lack of space.

"All I would ask is that if they do they leave enough space for a double buggy or a wheelchair to pass."