Written Answers. - Taxi Regulations.

Richard Bruton

Question:

674 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a list of telephone numbers of the operators of wheelchair accessible taxis cannot be circulated due to the fact that article 25 of the Road Traffic Public Service Vehicle (Amendment) Regulations, 1995, provides for the listing on the register of the name and address of each licence holder; and the plans, if any, he has to amend these regulations in order that the telephone number can also be made available to the public. [1381/99]

Trevor Sargent

Question:

700 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he has satisfied himself that the deregulation of taxi licences has any real value for wheelchair users who find difficulties in booking taxis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1580/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 674 and 700 together.

The Dublin Taxi Forum recommended a continuation of the policy whereby all new taxi licences issued in Dublin are wheelchair accessible. The forum also underlined the need for better marketing and organisation of taxi services, with the focus on consumer needs. It will be principally for the taxi industry to develop specific responses to this requirement, with the assistance as necessary of statutory agencies and other business interests.

With a view to implementing relevant recommendations of the Dublin Taxi Forum, I am at present considering a number of options for amending the public service vehicles regulations. I consider however that active and customer friendly marketing of services, including those for disabled persons, must be primarily promoted by the service industry itself. My Department is accordingly conducting a series of discussions with taxi and other interests with a view to advancing the recommendations of the Dublin Taxi Forum.