HC Deb 26 January 1999 vol 324 cc161-2W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to ensure that train companies provide improved services for passengers with mobility difficulties. [66757]

Ms Glenda Jackson

The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, which came into effect on 1 January this year, require new trains coming into service from that date to be fully accessible to disabled people, including those travelling in wheelchairs.

In addition, the Rail Regulator publishes a Code of Practice "Meeting the Needs of Disabled Passengers" which offers practical advice and guidance to train operating companies on the needs of disabled people. Operators are required to take the Code of Practice into account when producing their Disabled People's Protection Polices for approval by the Regulator, in accordance with the requirements of their operators' licences.

The Strategic Rail Authority will inherit the Rail Regulator's duties relating to disabled passengers.