§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he will take action to encourage the provision of pavements with dropped kerbs to improve the mobility and safety of disabled people in wheelchairs or using walking aids; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
At the request of the Secretary of State for Social Services, Baroness Sharp is at present conducting an inquiry into the mobility requirements of severely disabled people, and is investigating the need for increased provision of dropped kerbs. My Department already recommends that where footpaths are much used by perambulators or wheelchairs, kerb heights should be reduced at suitable crossing points but there are some disadvantages, as ramped kerbs and sloping footways can be 257W dangerous. The decision to put in such a facility must be one for the local authority in the light of local circumstances, but my Department will consider what further guidance should be issued in the light of the recommendations of Baroness Sharp's inquiry.