HC Deb 11 October 1976 vol 917 cc73-4W
Mr. Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many letters he has received following his decision to withdraw departmental trikes and how many have supported his decision.

Mr. Alfred Morris

We are not withdrawing trikes which were issued under the old vehicle scheme. For at least five years we expect to go on maintaining them and to be able, in general, to replace trikes which wear out. Of the total of 1,500 letters my right hon. Friend and I have received, many expressed unwarranted fears about early withdrawal of their vehicles, which we have tried to allay in our replies. The numbers of letters taking particular points of view have not been separately recorded.

Mr. Lomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which persons are qualified to receive electric self-propelled vehicles; how many have been issued; how many people are awaiting delivery; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alfred Morris

An electrically propelled tricycle for use on the roads may be provided for disabled people with reserved rights under the old vehicle service which terminated on 31st December 1975. Such a vehicle may also be provided for those between 50 and pension age who are not yet able to claim the mobility allowance. The qualification is very restricted walking ability. At 30th June 1976 there were 987 on issue in England; nobody is awaiting delivery.

An electrically propelled wheelchair for indoor use may be provided for people who are unable to walk and unable to propel an ordinary wheelchair whenever its provision gives a measure of independence to the user. At 30th June 1976, there were 5,642 on issue in England; 88 people are awaiting delivery.

An electrically propelled wheelchair for outdoor use and controlled by an attendant may be provided for those who would normally be pushed in a wheelchair outdoors but whose attendant is unable to do so because of infirmity, age, the weight of the occupant or the local topography. At 30th June 1976, there were 5,602 on issue in England; 8 are awaiting delivery.

The numbers awaiting delivery do not include those for whom orders cannot be placed pending assurance of satisfactory charging facilities. Information about these could not be furnished without disproportionate effort.