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The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Under Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 station operators are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to access their services. This may be done by altering physical features at stations, taking steps to avoid them or by providing the service by other means. Operators are responding to these duties and over half of rail journeys now start or end at step-free stations. In addition, if a disabled passenger is unable to use a particular station then all operators will provide an alternative form of transport, such as a taxi, to the next accessible station at no additional charge.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 27 October (WA 149), whether they will commission a feasibility study into the construction of a battery recycling plant in an area of the United Kingdom suffering from high unemployment. [HL6272]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We have no plans to commission such a study. The increased collection of batteries under the forthcoming legislation to implement the EU batteries directive will provide incentives for investment in recycling capacity. However, it is for the industry itself to make decisions about such investment.
Why the Explanatory Note to the Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 4) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/2424) states that a full impact assessment has not been published for this instrument as no impact on private or voluntary sectors is foreseen. [HL6326]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Any proposal that imposes or reduces costs on business or the third sector requires an impact assessment. These regulations amend existing regulations in respect of backdating claims to social security benefits and do not impose or reduce costs on the private or voluntary sectors. We do not believe that customers would be any more likely to require the help of the voluntary sector when making claims to benefit under the new rules than under the previous rules.
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