HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc714-5W
Mr. Edwin Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he has taken to involve representatives of disabled drivers in surveying the maintenance of invalid vehicles supplied by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alfred Morris

For this purpose, in late 1975, I formed a liaison group representative of voluntary organisations concerned with mobility for the disabled, of the approved repairers and of my Department. The group included officers of the Disabled Drivers' Association, the Disabled Drivers' Motor Club, the Joint Committee on Mobility for the Disabled and the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation. I have today placed in the Library of the House a report prepared by the group from questionnaires completed by 1,700 invalid three-wheeler users. This is quite a large sample and results show that a high proportion of users are satisfied with the service they get from approved repairers and from garages that carry out work on these vehicles. Approved repairers are, of course, visited regularly by the Department's staff who make routine checks on standards of workmanship and service.

The liaison group has provided a very useful forum where ideas for improvements in the practical running of the repair service can be considered. It has been instrumental in setting up liaison groups at local level. These comprise representatives of disabled drivers and of the Association of Approved Repairers and the local groups investigate any problems in relation to maintenance and repair work that three-wheeler users may have been unable to resolve satisfactorily through other channels. So far, 11 local groups have been established and the aim is to extend this new facility nationwide.