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Disabled People (Transport Access)

Volume 517: debated on Thursday 28 October 2010

14. What recent assessment he has made of the likely effects of the outcome of the spending review on projects to improve the accessibility of the transport network to disabled people. (19925)

As part of fulfilling the Government’s commitment to promoting equality, my Department has undertaken a robust analysis of its spending proposals and an assessment of the likely effects on the accessibility of the transport network. This work included considering the equalities impacts of proposals on projects that would improve the accessibility of the transport network to disabled people.

What assurances can the Minister offer that the reductions in the transport expenditure budget outlined in the comprehensive spending review the other week will not impact on accessibility for disabled passengers?

First, the Government have prioritised transport expenditure in recognition of the fact that it is very important in helping to grow the economy and in cutting carbon emissions.

Secondly, within that process, there are continuing programmes such as the access for all programme at railway stations, and we are considering how we deal with EU legislation and with other disability issues, which are a key part of my portfolio. I can assure the hon. Lady that the issue will not be lost. Indeed, she may want to know that next week I am meeting a number of groups, such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Scope, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and so on to ensure that I am fully appraised of their views on the issue.