§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total extra cost to his Department of its contributions to the International Year of Disabled People.
§ Mr. David Howell
Many of the costs of IYDP to my department, particularly staff costs, are not readily identifiable since consideration of the transport needs of disabled people is a continuing and integral part of its work. In addition, my Department secured sponsorship by industry and commerce for some of the initiatives undertaken in IYDP, which substantially reducedr j 6–10 the cost to the public funds.
My Department launched three initiatives specifically to mark IYDP. An international conference and reception for 600 delegates was held in London in March 1981 at a total cost of £11,000. No charge was made to delegates, many of whom were disabled. An exhibition mounted in six buses toured all parts of the United Kingdom and was visited by over ¼ million people. The Department was substantially helped in meeting the cost by the National Bus Company, which provided the vehicles and drivers and by sponsorship from private industry. The cost of the exhibition to the Department was about £60,000. A national rally for disabled drivers at Silverstone in June was sponsored by the Daily Express, Austin Morris and Silverstone Circuits Ltd. The only cost to the Department apart from staff time was printing costs of £330.
One of the continuing projects lauched by my Department during IYDP to help disabled people is the development of the vehicle which is to replace the present "London" taxi. The Department has contributed £75,000 to the costs of design and development of prototypes to ensure that the vehicle will be fully accessible, as a standard feature, to passengers in wheelchairs.