Press release

Mike Penning visits pioneering vehicle adaptations firm for disabled people

The Minister of State for Disabled People visits a vehicle adaptations firm to see how the government’s £17m of investment is being spent.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mike Penning

The Minister of State for Disabled People saw how the government’s £17 million of investment into specialised vehicle adaptations for severely disabled people is being spent today (29 January 2014) when he visited a leading manufacturing plant in Hertfordshire.

Auto Mobility Concepts developed the first ever electronic tiller driving control system – a special joystick and steering wheel called Spacedrive system – which allows people with low strength, without limbs and other severe disabilities, to safely drive a car.

It’s one of a number of firms offering disabled people mobility options and the steering system is now the best-selling electronic driving control system in the UK – used by thousands of disabled people across the country.

Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning said:

It is innovative businesses like these that are helping lead Britain’s economic recovery, whilst also offering vital help for disabled people to get out and about.

As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing £17 million into specialised vehicle adaptations, to support severely disabled people to lead independent lives.

The government’s Specialised Vehicles Fund helps those with serious disabilities and wheelchair users get around by making complex adaptations to their vehicles.

The adaptations enable them to travel as passengers and even drive their car whilst seated in a wheelchair.

Managing Director of Auto Mobility Concepts Barry Williams said:

Our business is going from strength to strength and people say we make a real difference to their lives. It’s a privilege to have the Minister visit us today.

The firm adapts hundreds of cars a year and employs 25 full-time staff, some of whom have disabilities themselves.

More information

The Specialised Vehicles Fund is administered by the charity Motability on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

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Published 29 January 2014