HC Deb 15 May 1989 vol 153 cc10-1W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to resist European Commission proposals which would bar deaf people from driving minibuses and light goods vehicles.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

There is no justification on road safety grounds for tougher controls on the drivers of minibuses and light goods vehicles. We are pressing the European Commission at every level to avoid placing unnecessary restrictions on them. We can see no justification for preventing deaf people from driving such vehicles.

We want to maintain and enhance mobility for special needs groups and common interest groups. We do not want unnecessary additional driving and medical tests. We aim to protect our present arrangements in the negotiations in the Council of Ministers. I am sending a copy of this question and answer to the new Commissioner for Transport.