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Railways: Disabled

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements are in place to evaluate performance against the undertakings made by those bidding for rail franchises in terms of the disability element of franchise bids. (254931)

The Department for Transport’s evaluation of franchise bids includes an assessment of compliance with the invitation to tender, which reflects the Department’s equality of access policies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to ensure that the disability element of rail franchising is scored in accordance with the Government’s disability equality duty. (254932)

The Department for Transport’s evaluation of franchise bids includes an assessment of compliance with the invitation to tender which reflects the Department’s equality of access policies.

Details that bidders are required to submit include:

compliance with their duties under the Disability Discrimination Act applicable to both stations and trains, including trains’ compliance with time scales required in accordance with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations;

consultation process to identify and address the reasonable needs of disabled passengers concerning existing facilities and planned enhancements;

procedures for the sale of tickets to disabled passengers;

staff training in disability awareness.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how local disability organisations are consulted on options for access improvements in major transport projects. (254933)

Major transport project promoters are responsible for deciding how to consult with their local stakeholders, including disability organisations. If they are public bodies they have obligations under the disability equality duty to secure the views of a wide range of disabled people.