02 June 2004:
Government's adviser on transport and disability welcomes parliamentary support for Disability Bill changes
The Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) today welcomed the support of the Joint Committee on the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill for DPTAC's recommendations on changes to this draft Government Bill. DPTAC is the Government's official adviser on disability in relation to transport and the built environment.
Speaking at a meeting of the full Committee, Neil Betteridge said:
"The Joint Committee has supported almost all of DPTAC's recommendations for further improving this important Bill. I particularly welcome its advice to the Government that it should adopt 2017 as the end-date by which rail vehicles should comply with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, and that any system of exemptions should expire by 2025. The Committee has also recommended that improvements to accessibility, such as installing accessible audio-visual systems, should be integrated into the refurbishment process.
"DPTAC also welcomes the recommendation to prohibit landlords from unreasonably withholding consent for alterations to the home of a disabled person, including common areas. This could improve the quality of life for many disabled people."
He added, "the Joint Committee has done an outstanding job of considering 123 written and 23 oral statements to produce a clear, sensible and moderate report. DPTAC will do all it can to ensure the Committee's recommendations are reflected in the Government's Bill."
Notes to editors:
1. The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was set up under the Transport Act of 1985 to advise Government on the transport needs of all disabled people. In 2000 its role was extended, on a non-statutory basis, to advising the Government on the built environment needs of disabled people.
2. For further information on DPTAC, contact the Secretary, Andy Kirby on 020 7944 8012 or email email@example.com.
3. DPTAC's written evidence to the Joint Scrutiny Committee is at: dptac.independent.gov.uk/pubs/consult/06.htm and dptac.independent.gov.uk/pubs/consult/07.htm and its oral evidence is at: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200304/jtselect/jtdisab/82/8202.htm#evidence.
4. The all-party Committee of MP's and Peers published its report on 27 May. It welcomed the Government's draft Disability Discrimination Bill, and concluded that the Government could go further to provide better opportunities for the UK's estimated 10 million disabled adults. The report is available at: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200304/jtselect/jtdisab/82/8202.htm.
5. The Draft Disability Discrimination Bill was published in December 2003 and is available at: www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/index.htm. It is part of a process that began in 1997 with the appointment of the Disability Rights Task Force to review existing disability anti-discrimination legislation.