HC Deb 19 April 2004 vol 420 c57W
Linda Perham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what impact he expects the provisions of the draft Disability Discrimination Bill to have on the measures contained in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 regarding specifications of hackney carriages; and what the timetable is for consultation and implementation. [165456]

Mr. McNulty

The provisions in the draft Disability Discrimination Bill have no impact on the existing provisions of Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) that give the Secretary of State powers to make accessibility regulations for hackney carriages (taxis). I announced on 28 October last year our policy proposals fro taking forward those provisions. We are currently working on the technical requirements and we will be consulting in due course on draft regulations that will include a proposed timeframe for implementation.

The transport provision in the draft Disability Discrimination Bill would allow us to lift the exemption for transport vehicles in Part 3 of the DDA that deals with access to goods, services and facilities. We are committed to doing so in respect of public transport services, including taxis, to ensure that in future operators of those services take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled people. We do not, however, intend to bring in the duties under Part 3 that would require physical alterations to vehicles.