HC Deb 05 April 2000 vol 347 cc485-6W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent discussions he has had on improving transport facilities for disabled people; and if he will make a statement. [117824]

Mr. Hill

There are frequent and regular discussions with representatives of disabled people, including our statutory advisers the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), with the transport manufacturing and operating industries and with local authorities.

We have already brought forward regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 setting detailed technical access standards for all new trains. This year we will be bringing forward similar regulations applying to buses and coaches and we will be consulting on proposed regulations for taxis. These regulations cover facilities for wheelchair users and for people with a wide range of other disabilities.

Through the Local Transport Plans we are also ensuring that local authorities give due weight to the needs of disabled people across the whole spectrum of their responsibilities, including pedestrian facilities, transport infrastructure and voluntary and community transport services.