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Disabled People (Access)

Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee if he will make a statement on progress in relation to access to the House by disabled persons. [36490]

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by me to the hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Cox) on 8 February, Official Report, columns 243–46, which describes in detail the conclusions of the review by the Accommodation and Works Committee into access for disabled people. Most of the recommended improvements are now in hand and altogether some 50 separate projects, small and large, will be implemented.A copy of a note dated 14 June 1995 by the Director of Works detailing the improved facilities has been placed in the Library. The main achievements are as follows: access is now available for people in wheelchairs from New Palace Yard to the Strangers Gallery, the Terrace, the Principal Floor, the Main Committee Corridor, the Upper Committee Corridor and the Centre Curtain Corridor private dining rooms. The new entrance at Black Rod's Garden enables people in wheelchairs to go directly to the start of the line of route. In addition, adaptations have now been completed on lift Nos. 1 and 15 in order to take people in wheelchairs to the Strangers Gallery and to the four main floors on the river front. There is a further programme to adapt 24 other lifts in the Palace for ambulant disabled people.