HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 cc16-7W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action his Department has taken to implement the recommendation of the first report of the Home Affairs Committee, HC Paper 23 of Session 1991–92, in respect of the separation of elderly and disabled passengers from coaches aboard Le Shuttle. [38591]

Mr. Watts

The Government response to the Home Affairs Committee made it clear that the tunnel had been built to provide full access for all passengers, whatever their mobility problems, and that procedures would be devised for routine travel and emergency evacuation for people with mobility problems. These procedures are now complete and are contained in Eurotunnel's safety arrangements.

When Eurotunnel made its formal application to the Intergovernmental Commission for an operating certificate to enable it to carry coaches in single-deck wagons on tourist shuttle trains, it included supporting evidence showing the results of evacuation tests carried out with the participation of elderly and disabled passengers.

The Intergovernmental Commission, on advice from the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority and from the Maitre d' Oeuvre, independent project managers and advisers to the commission, gave approval to the application in June 1995.