HC Deb 07 December 2000 vol 359 cc4-5W
Mr. Kemp

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made in response to the transport recommendations of the Disability Rights Task Force report "From Exclusion to Inclusion". [141620]

Mr. Hill

As my hon. Friend the Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities announced on 20 November 2000,Official Report, column 39W, the Government hope to be in a position to publish a formal response to the DRTF report as a whole around the end of February 2001. My Department has been considering the proposals as they relate to transport.

The Government have already made significant progress in implementing the transport provisions of the DDA. This has been achieved largely as a result of wide discussions with the transport industries and disability organisations. This process of consultation has resulted in regulations setting standards of access for rail vehicles and regulations applying similar standards to buses and coaches. I also recently laid before the House regulations which will place taxi drivers under a duty to carry guide, hearing and other assistance dogs.

I have asked my officials, building on the work that has already been undertaken, to discuss the DRTF recommendations widely with industry and with disability organisations. Our goal will be to find ways in which we can take forward the recommendations to deliver further improvements in access and mobility to disabled people without compromising the viability of industry.