HL Deb 22 February 1990 vol 516 cc503-4WA
Lord Dormand of Easington

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What measures they are taking to help the disabled when travelling on trains, buses and aeroplanes.

Viscount Davidson

Our programme of initiatives to promote mobility for people with disabilities, including our work with British Rail, bus operators and the airlines is set out in our policy document,Transport and Disability—A Statement of Aims and Priorities.

We have worked with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee to develop a recommended specification for local buses to make them more accessible to ambulant disabled and elderly people. The features included in that specification are now incorporated into many new and existing bus fleets. We are now working on the development of low floor buses which can provide easy access for wheelchair users and others with mobility problems.

British Rail are committed to improving the accessibility of their services. Details of their provisions are set out in their information leaflet, British Rail and Disabled Travellers. The InterCity network already provides a high level of access and by 1993 all British Rail routes will be fully wheelchair accessible.

The airlines are also working towards better services and facilities for elderly and disabled people. New airport terminals are designed with their needs in mind as a matter of course.

Throughout the transport industries, staff training in the understanding of meeting the needs of passengers with disabilities is now common practice.

We will continue to take every opportunity to encourage all transport operators to meet the needs of this important part of the community.