HC Deb 11 June 1997 vol 295 cc475-6W
Mr. McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions by what date the London Underground will be accessible to wheelchair users. [2998]

Ms Glenda Jackson

This is a matter for London Underground. However, as the Underground system was originally built with little regard to the needs of disabled people, and in view of the cost of rectifying this situation at over 270 stations, it is difficult to give a specific date for when the Underground will be fully accessible to all. London Underground's policy is to maintain and improve existing levels of access for disabled passengers where practicable and to incorporate improved accessibility into all new and rebuilt trains, new lines and extensions and station redevelopments. For example, the Jubilee Line Extension, when completed, will be fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Access to underground stations, as to other public transport stations and terminals, is covered by the provisions of Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act. There are specific provisions in the Part of the Act which deal with the removal of physical barriers to access where that is deemed reasonable. The Department for Education and Employment (which is responsible for that part of the Act) will be consulting on its proposals for its implementation.