HL Deb 28 June 1988 vol 498 cc1292-3

2.56 p.m.

Baroness Sharpies asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Department of Transport's MAVIS scheme is receiving sufficient publicity.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Lord Brabazon of Tara)

My Lords, the Department of Transport is currently sending a leaflet on the Mobility Advice and Vehicle Information Service with every vehicle excise duty renewal reminder to motorists. Since the beginning of April this has generated nearly 1,300 inquiries from disabled people. This campaign will in the course of a year reach more than 30 million people.

Baroness Sharples

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that excellent Answer. Does he agree that partially disabled people may benefit more from this scheme because possibly they may be nervous about driving, and, as I understand it, there is a choice of more than 18 different cars from which people can choose in deciding whether they can drive such vehicles?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, that is correct. My figures show that 15 different cars are available at the centre at Crowthorne for disabled or partially disabled people to try in order to decide whether they are able to make use of them.

Lord Jenkin of Roding

My Lords, does the scheme see itself as being complementary to the exceedingly valuable work done over the years by the Motability organisation, of which the noble Lord, Lord Goodman, has been chairman for many years, and which now proudly boasts that it is the biggest fleet owner of cars in the world because of the number of cars, adapted or not, which have been made available to disabled people?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, yes, my noble friend is right; the scheme is complementary to the Motability scheme. Our scheme will advise disabled or partially disabled people of the kinds of cars which can be driven and of the adaptations which need to be made to make that possible.

Lord underhill

My Lords, does the Minister appreciate that we readily support the general publicity scheme that he outlined in his first supplementary answer? Has the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee raised any questions in respect of publicity, and is it thoroughly satisfied?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I am not aware that the committee has raised any questions about publicity. This is not the only means of publicity which takes place. Leaflets are available at the practices of GPs, rehabilitation centres, special schools, shows and exhibitions and so forth. The unit was represented at Belfast last week-end and at Huddersfield two weeks ago.

Lord Brougham and Vaux

My Lords, can my noble friend tell the House how much the MAVIS scheme is costing?

Lord Brabazon of Tara

My Lords, I can give only a rough figure. For the financial year 1987–88, the running costs and salaries of driving consultants amounted to just over £24,000. Other overheads and staff costs are absorbed separately by the department; but I do not have a figure for those.

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