HC Deb 06 August 1976 vol 916 cc1151-2W
Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, pursuant to the Written Answer of 13th October 1975, column 613, he will mount a competition, open to all universities, colleges of advanced technology, polytechnics, firms, engineering clubs, or private persons, for designs or working prototypes of three-wheeler vehicles capable of carrying two persons and being driven by a disabled person incapable of driving a modified four-wheeler motor car.

Mr. Alfred Morris

As the phasing out of the invalid tricycle proceeds we shall assess the extent of the need for specialised vehicles for the remaining vehicle scheme beneficiaries and see what alternative invalid vehicles and electrically powered wheelchairs are available on home and world markets. I cannot, however commit the Government to a three-wheeled specialised vehicle to succeed the present invalid tricycle and I am not, therefore, able to promote the competition suggested by my hon. Friend.

Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the average annual cost of maintaining an invalid tricycle; and what this is as a percentage of the mobility allowance.

Mr. Alfred Morris

For the financial year ended 31st March 1976 the average annual cost of maintaining an invalid tricycle excluding provision for initial purchases and replacements, was of the order of £200. This includes a number of items beyond the routine maintenance essential for keeping the vehicle service in operation, e.g., major repairs, reconditioning, insurance, and transport and delivery. The figure excludes the Department's own costs in administering the service.

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