Transport Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 9th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour 5:30 pm, 9th November 2000

My Lords, I support the concept behind the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Swinfen. He is trying to achieve seamless journeys. I do not know whether he will achieve that; we shall have to explore the matter. The integrated transport White Paper, A New Deal for Transport, published two years ago, states at paragraph 3.93 on page 56:

"We are bringing into effect the requirements for new rolling stock on the railway from the end of this year".

I am sure that many noble Lords will have seen the new rolling stock. I believe that it offers many good facilities for disabled people. I hope that soon the insulting practice of making people in wheelchairs travel in the guard's van on some of the old trains will come to an end. That is an insulting practice and it is also jolly uncomfortable and cold for the people concerned. However, the seamless journey continues beyond the railway. Paragraph 3.93 further states:

"For buses and taxis the implementation dates are being set following consultation. We have consulted on an implementation date of 1 January 2002 for taxis and a range of dates according to different bus and coach types".

That paragraph appears to indicate that the consultation went well and that implementation dates have been set. I shall be interested to hear whether the implementation dates are still valid. If something goes wrong, will disabled people have to go to court to secure what I consider are their rights in this regard, or is there some other means of securing them? I shall be interested to hear my noble friend's response.