HC Deb 18 November 1999 vol 339 c6W
Ms Oona King

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will review the Orange Badge scheme of parking concessions for disabled people following the report produced by his statutory advisers, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. [98572]

Mr. Hill

I have given very careful consideration to DPTAC's report and to the further information which we sought from local authorities about the administration of the Scheme. I have also taken the opportunity to consult my colleagues in the devolved administrations and in Northern Ireland.

We have concluded that a review of the Scheme is necessary to ensure it continues to serve its fundamental purpose: to enable severely disabled people to park close to their destinations. Without the badge the mobility of those who are most disabled would be greatly restricted. We will be starting the process in the New Year and will be reporting further progress to the House at that time. For now, I can confirm that the review will look at the eligibility criteria, as well as the administration and enforcement of the Scheme.

Although the Scheme in Scotland and Wales is a matter for the devolved administrations, and in Northern Ireland for the DOE Northern Ireland, I have agreed with my colleagues that the review will be carried out on a UK-wide basis. That arrangement will not, however, prevent changes being introduced on a devolved basis.