HC Deb 23 January 1997 vol 288 c682W
Ms Lynne

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to issue new guidance to train operating companies on the restrictions they can place on electric scooters and batricars being allowed to board trains; [12070]

(2) what consultations he has had with the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee over the refusal of train operating companies to allow individuals to board trains using three-wheeled electric scooters or batricars. [12071]

Mr. Watts

The regulations we will be making under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 will ensure that wheelchairs, constructed to international standard dimensions, can be accommodated on new trains. In the meantime, we have begun negotiations with the wheelchair manufacturers with the aim of establishing a marking protocol which would indicate to disabled people the transport compatibility of manual and powered wheelchairs to help them make informed choices.

The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee has considered the ban on scooters and large powered wheelchairs on a number of occasions. It shares concerns about the stability and manoeuvrability of scooters and it has supported the train operating companies' ban. For the larger powered vehicles which are designed to give local outdoor mobility, the committee recognises that they are simply too large to be accommodated on public transport.

In the light of advice from the DPTAC, we have no plans to issue guidance to train operating companies about restrictions they can place on disabled people using electric vehicles.

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