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Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 19 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what developments there have recently been in the availability of vehicles for disabled people.

I congratulate the motor manufacturing industry on its responsible and far-sighted attitude to the problems of disabled people and, in particular, for having successfully developed many modifications to production cars for the benefit of disabled drivers. The modifications to the Ford Escort now make it suitable for many severely disabled people. This car offers an additional valuable new facility for private purchasers who are disabled, including many recipients of the private car allowance. I have decided that a modified Ford car

The information requested is given below:should also be included in the range of motor cars on issue by my Department, so that in future disabled people who are eligible for motor cars may be offered a basic Ford Popular, with modifications to the controls if necessary, when the Department's doctors find a Mini medically unsuitable. I must emphasise that it is not possible to stretch resources to permit the issue of a more expensive car in the Escort range than the basic Popular saloon. The private car allowance will, of course, continue to be available to those who find this the most acceptable option open to them. Mobility allowance, to be increased to £7 a week in the autumn, will also remain as an alternative for disabled people who qualify for it under existing or impending legislation. I am writing to the principal voluntary associations giving them details of this extension to the range of motor vehicles on issue by my Department.