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Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

Volume 931: debated on Thursday 12 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which firms are currently under contract to the Government to carry out research into a possible replacement of the invalid tricycle; and if he will make a statement on the progress which has so far been made.

There is no contractual arrangement with particular firms. My Department and the Department of Transport are in touch with a number of development projects and are jointly considering what further research is desirable in order to identify, among the possible lines of development of car adaptations or specialised vehicles, those which have the best prospects of effectively meeting the needs of disabled people. While the main Government benefit is now the mobility allowance, we shall be looking on home and world markets to see what is available to meet the needs of drivers of tricycles issued under the old vehicle scheme who still need a specialised vehicle when eventually—in 1982 or possibly 1983—we shall no longer be able to replace tricycles which wear out.