HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 cc885-6

3. — (1) Any person appointed to be a member of the Committee shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of his appointment and shall, on ceasing to be a member of the Committee, be eligible for re-appointment.

(2) Any person so appointed may at any time resign his office by written notice given to the Secretary of State.

4.—(1) The Committee shall meet whenever convened by the chairman and at least four times a year.

(2) Without prejudice to the discretion of the chairman to call a meeting whenever he thinks fit, he shall call one when required to do so by any five members of the Committee.

(3) Minutes shall be kept of the proceedings of every meeting of the Committee.

(4) Subject to the preceding provisions of this paragraph, the Committee shall determine their own procedure (including the quorum at their meetings).

5. The Committee may delegate the exercise and performance of any of their functions to such of their sub-committees as they think fit.

6. The validity of any proceedings of the Committee shall not he affected by any vacancy amongst the members, by any defect in the appointment of a member or by any failure to comply with the requirement imposed by section (the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee) (3) of this Act.

(6A) The Secretary of State shall from time to time issue guidance as to measures that may be taken with a view to (a) making access to vehicles used in the provision of public passenger transport services by road easier for disabled persons; and (b) making such vehicles better adapted to the needs of disabled persons. (6B) The Secretary of State shall consult the Committee before issuing any such guidance.".

No. 420, in the title, in line 7, after "concessions" insert— to make further provision with respect to the powers of London Regional Transport".

No. 421, in line 11, after "1965" insert— to establish a Disabled Person's Transport Advisory Committee".

Mr. Ridley

The Government have introduced a number of amendments and have accepted others designed to ensure that proper attention is paid to the needs of disabled people as users of public transport. It might be useful to the House if I deal with them briefly together, although of course I shall respond if anybody wishes to probe any of them further. One of the amendments may well give the hon. Member for Crewe and Nantwich (Mrs. Dunwoody) an opportunity to do so.

As a whole, the amendments clarify the responsibilities of local authorities to provide new powers for the support of minibus services meeting the needs of elderly and disabled people, and for the provision of grants for vehicles, or modifications to vehicles, and give LRT a new power to support dial-a-ride services in London, establish a new disabled persons' advisory committee and place an obligation on me to issue guidance on the measures that can be taken to make vehicles more accessible to disabled people. Taken together, the amendments will lead to a real improvement in the way in which public transport meets the needs of disabled people.

Mrs. Dunwoody

I had hoped that the Secretary of State, in his new mood of reasonableness, would be happy to accept the amendment in our name. It would have made the matter simpler.

I had thought that the Secretary of State would not only accept that we need a committee to make recommendations, but make sure that it had some hope of seeing those recommendations adopted and brought into use. I had hoped that at long last the Secretary of State would accept that the amendments that we are proposing are constructive.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 77 to 80 agreed to.

Forward to