§ Mr. Gwilym Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the latest figures available for the time taken to repair invalid cars, electrical wheelchairs, other wheelchairs and other appliances for use by disabled people; what steps he is taking to reduce these repair times; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Prentice
Repairs to invalid three-wheelers and wheelchairs on loan from the Department are normally arranged by the user directly with the repairer and any attempt to establish average times would necessitate the repairers maintaining extra records and rendering additional 305W returns. If the user would otherwise be left without a vehicle whilst the repair is effected, it is usually possible to provide a reserve. There is no evidence that times for repair are generally excessive, and no special steps are planned to reduce them.
The phrase "other appliances for use by disabled people" covers a wide range of equipment provided under a variety of arrangements. The information about much of it is simply not available at all, and I am afraid that where the information does exist it could not be ascertained and collated without considerable and disproportionate effort.
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in the context of the access to the skies programme, he is satisfied with the access facilities available for disabled people and the elderly to travel from the underground stations to the airline booking-in points at Heathrow; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Prentice
Facilities provided for disabled and elderly people between the underground station and the airline booking-in points at Heathrow are a matter for London Transport and the British Airports Authority. If the hon. Member will let me have details of any particular problem I will have inquiries made.