asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the terms of reference of the study commissioned by his Department and the Depart- ment of Transport with the Motor Industry Research Association; what will be the cost of the study; when he expects it to be completed; and if he will make a statement.
The aim of the study is to identify how best the needs of disabled people can be met in relation to personal road transport. The project will consider the problems of access, controls and storage of wheelchairs; the extent to which these can be met by available adaptions to motor cars; and the potential value of further adaptations or specialised vehicles which are available or under development. Apart from the potential benefit to disabled people generally, the study has particular relevanc to mobility allowance beneficiaries who wish to have a vehicle to drive or in which to travel as a passenger and to beneficiaries under the former vehicle scheme who continue to use a three-wheeler so long as stocks are available. As my hon. Friend is aware, our aim is to keep these three-wheeler users mobile unless increased disability itself makes this impossible. The current estimated cost of the Motor Industry Research Association study is approximately £40,000. The study team's report is expected to be available in the new year.