HC Deb 12 February 1996 vol 271 c648
19. Mr. Alan Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he next plans to meet representatives of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee to discuss access to public transport. [13036]

Sir George Young

My Department has regular meetings with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee to discuss a wide range of issues relating to the transport needs of disabled people. I will be seeing the chairman on the day of the June quarterly meeting.

Mr. Howarth

Is it the case that the draft European directive on bus and coach construction would prevent the Government from requiring that buses and coaches be made accessible to disabled people? If so, will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that the Government will insist that the terms of the draft directive are altered so as to ensure, as required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, that as soon as reasonably practicable buses and coaches are made accessible to people with disabilities?

Sir George Young

I am very anxious that there should be no obstruction to extending access to buses by disabled people. Further discussions and consultations will take place on the European directive to which the hon. Gentleman referred.