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Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

Volume 928: debated on Thursday 17 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress has been made during the last eight years in developing electronic controls for thalodimide and seriously disabled drivers in order to enable them to achieve independent mobility; and if he will place an order for such a number of adapted vehicles as is required for a development programme.

I am aware of work that has been done by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory on the development of an electronically controlled steering system and have kept in touch with its progress because of my interest in any technical development which could result in a better choice of specialised vehicles, or specialised adaptations to production cars, for disabled people. I understand that this project is still at the stage of a feasibility study. My Department and the Department of Transport are currently considering what further research is desirable to identify feasible adaptations, or other developments, likely to result in vehicles which effectively meet the needs of disabled people. In the meantime, it would not be right for me to pick out one particular project for special support by my Department.