HC Deb 05 February 1998 vol 305 cc723-4W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will ensure that minicabs tendering for rail replacement services will be required to provide vehicles with disabled access. [25955]

Ms Glenda Jackson

In the event of a disruption to passenger train services, franchise operators are required by the terms of their Franchise Agreement to use all reasonable endeavours to provide or secure the provision of such alternative transport arrangements for their passengers as are reasonably feasible.

We have no powers under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to introduce accessibility requirements for minicabs. Our priority is to use the powers which are currently provided by the Act to bring forward accessibility regulations for taxis, buses and coaches and rail vehicles. We understand that access to minicabs is of concern to some disability organisations and we will keep the issue under review.