§ Mr. Woolas
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to issue an exemption order for the fleet of trams to be introduced into service in Croydon in respect of the provisions of the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998. 
§ Mr. Hill
As my predecessor explained in her answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, East (Mr. McNulty) on 9 March 1999,Official Report, column 167W, we are expecting to receive a number of exemption applications from train and tram operating companies whose designs for new rail vehicles were well advanced prior to the 1998 Regulations coming into force.117W
We have received an application from Tramtrack Croydon Ltd. relating to the new trams they wish to introduce on Croydon Tramlink. The exemptions have been discussed with our statutory advisers, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. An exemption Order relating to the exemption of these trams was laid in Parliament yesterday. Copies are available from the Library.
The exemptions will not prevent disabled people from using the new trams or trains. Indeed, we believe that their introduction will make a significant contribution to improving mobility opportunities for disabled people.
Authority Value £ Title of Bid Bath and NE Somerset 801,127 Enhanced Bus Services Buckinghamshire 985,000 Easybus Project Cheshire 632,388 Demand Responsive Rural Community Transport Strategy Cornwall 100,000 The Helston-Redruth Branch Line Bus Service 57,270 The Gorran and District Ring-and-Ride Service Cumbria 722,000 Cumbrian Connexion Derbyshire 155,000 Public Transport Information Technology Devon 640,000 Buses are Cool East Riding 423,300 MediBus Network East Sussex 102,000 North Lewes District Rural Taxibus Partnership Gloucestershire 998,900 IMPACT—Improving Accessible Transport Greater Manchester 312,000 Rural Transport Operators Hampshire 169,457 Fully Integrated Brockenhurst Herefordshire 78,000 Home Hopper Hertfordshire 107,000 Accessible Taxis Rural Areas Partnership 180,000 Multi-purpose Accessible Vehicles in Rural Areas Kent 381,000 Swale Unified Network (SUN) Lancashire 106,733 Rural Intelligent Bus Stop System 280,999 Garstang "Super 8" Variable Route Minibus Service Lincolnshire 940,962 Spalding-Kings Lynn 680,687 Lincoln-Boston Merseyside 12,600 Satellite Tracking and Communications Equipment Norfolk 478,800 Quality Bus Partnership (Kings Lynn-Hunstanton) North Lincolnshire 88,095 Brigg Bus Stop Infrastructure Improvements North Yorkshire 43,200 Whixley Area Community Transport Project Northamptonshire 221,850 East Northants Community Bus and Trailer Project 204,550 Cross County Quality Bus Partnership 61,550 Wellinborough Rural Door-to-Door Service Northumberland 74,000 Access to Journey Planner Oxfordshire 62,192 Cotswold Line Taxi-Bus Interchange 229,100 Wheelchair Accessible Express Coach Feeder and Dial-a-Ride Service in South Oxfordshire 426,000 Cherwell Valley Taxi-Bus Scheme 285,000 Integrated Rural Taxi-Bus Links to Bicester North Railway Station Redcar and Cleveland 5,000 Minibus Turning Circle Shropshire 21,600 Bike-Bus Demonstration Project 21,900 Community Transport Information System Somerset 90,823 West Somerset Social Car Scheme 25,582 Wells—Priddy Postbus 225,195 Continuation of Mendip Flexibus Funding South Gloucestershire 540,300 Strategic Interchange and Local Access Hubs South Yorkshire 40,478 Hampole and Skelbrooke 1,342,275 South Rotherham Transport Strategy Staffordshire 117,500 Gnosall Community Links Stockton on Tees 12,000 Bus Facilities at Yarm Station Suffolk 305,122 Wheels Within Wheels Telford and Wrekin 174,000 Rural Transport Links—The Wrekin Rider Torbay 142,990 South Devon Hospital Hopper Bus Tyne and Wear 361,550 Transpods Warrington 60,000 Car Share Co-ordinator Warwickshire 155,088 Flexi Bus Routes West Berkshire 75,700 Taxi-Bus West Sussex 218,000 Demanding Public Transport West Yorkshire 208,928 Denby Dale Wiltshire 642,450 Trans-Wilts Express 453,160 Royal United Hospital Demand Responsive Taxi-Bus service 58,000 Wigglybus Worcestershire 404,049 Route Enhancement: Service 382 36,500 Bus Passenger Escort Scheme 58 Schemes 16,778,950