§ Laura Moffatt
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if there is an exemption order for the Class 460 trains to be introduced into service by Gatwick Express in respect of provisions of the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 1998; and if he will make a statement. 
§ 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 operating companies whose designs for new rail vehicles were well advanced prior to the 1998 Regulations coming into force.
We have received an application from Gatwick Express relating to the new Class 460 trains they wish to introduce into service. The exemptions, have been discussed with our statutory advisers the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. An exemption Order relating to the exemption of these trains has been laid in Parliament today. Copies are available from the Library.
The exemptions will not prevent disabled people from using the new trains. Indeed, we believe that their introduction will make a significant contribution to improving mobility opportunities for disabled people.