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Heathrow criticised for failing disabled passengers

Heathrow told it must improve its level of service for passengers who are disabled

Heathrow is under fire for failing in the service it gives to thousands of disabled passengers who use the airport every year.

It has been rated among the worst airports in the UK for disabled passengers and told it must improve.

A survey by the Civil Aviation Authority of thirty airports rated it in the bottom four with a "poor" rating. The regulator said the airport had "fallen short of expectations."

Gatwick and Southampton were rated good but failed to get into the very good catogory.

“UK aviation should be proud that it continues to serve a rapid increase in the number of passengers with a disability.

Our surveys, along with the airports’ own studies, have shown high levels of satisfaction among disabled passengers and we have seen some examples of excellent service where assistance is well organised and delays are minimal. However, East Midlands, Exeter, Heathrow and Manchester have fallen short of our expectations and we have secured commitments from them to make improvements. We will monitor their implementation over the coming months to make sure that services for passengers with a disability or reduced mobility continue to improve.”

– Richard Moriarty, CAA Director of Consumers and Markets

20,000 faithful folk fans descend on Cropredy festival

Credit: ITV Meridian

It's not the biggest of the summer music festivals, but Cropredy has a core of loyal supporters who've been eagerly awaiting the three-day event in Oxfordshire.

It's staged by the music legends, Fairport Convention, and this year the band will be celebrating their golden anniversary.

As Penny Silvester reports.

Penny spoke to Festival Director Gareth Williams, Pub Landlady Jill Ward, Village Shop Worker Chris Bradshaw, Ann Voce from Fair Mobility, festival fan Tim Hayes and Dave Pegg from Fairport Convention.

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Major step forward for Lexicon Bracknell

It's one of the biggest regeneration projects the Thames Valley has ever seen. Part of the new multi-million pound Lexicon centre in Bracknell has officially opened.

The area has suffered from high unemployment and a tired shopping centre, so it's hoped the development will transform the town's fortunes.

The long-awaited project is due to fully open in September. Penny Silvester reports.

Research into whether wine bottle tops affect taste

Credit: PA

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

Oxford University scientists could soon provide a definitive answer to the years-long debate over whether wine tastes better from a cork or screw cap bottle.

Members of the public can take part in the experiment by using brain-scanning technology to test how the sounds, aromas and sensations associated with opening a wine bottle influence their taste buds.

The experiment, developed by Oxford University's Crossmodal Research Laboratory, aims to end years of debate among the wine industry and consumers alike about which method produces the best taste.

The most widely-held opinion so far seems to be that no closure - natural or synthetic cork, screw cap or even the latest screw cork - is best.

Our brains have a powerful hold over our taste buds, and it will be interesting to see the differing effects the multi-sensory aspects of wine drinking have on our perception of taste. "This is a debate that has been ongoing in the wine industry for many years, and we hope this trial will go some way to providing a definitive answer to this fascinating question."

– Professor Charles Spence, head of experimental psychology at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory
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