asked the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has as to the percentage of British Rail passenger carriages which are currently equipped to accommodate wheelchairs; and what plans there are for future provision of such carriages.
I understand from British Rail that the proportion of rolling stock on inter-city services with accommodation for wheelchair-bound persons is currently about 60 per cent., but is expected to rise to 90 per cent. by the end of 1987. British Rail estimates that about 19 per cent. of provincial sector rolling stock and 15 per cent. of London and south-east sector stock is equipped to carry wheelchair-bound passengers; these figures will rise as new sliding-door rolling stock is introduced, or existing stock refurbished.