§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the Disability Alliance, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind about the proposed changes in British Rail's fare structure and in the discounts available to disabled holders of railcards; what reply he is sending; if there is any action he will be taking; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ridley
The Disability Alliance has sent me a copy of its letter of 4 March to the chairman of BR about changes in fare discounts for all railcard holders to be introduced from 12 May. I will be replying shortly.
I expect the board to provide services which are good value for money at acceptable fares and charges. Within this objective, responsibility for determining fares 517W structures and levels rests with the board. I welcome the concern the board has shown and the measures it has taken for disabled people, including the original introduction of discounted rail fares for this group of travellers. The board's view is that overall the holders of railcards, which include disabled people, should not be worse off as a result of the changes in the fares discounts.