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Mr. Watts: None.

Kent Coastal Lines

19. Mr. Dunn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the provision of new rolling stock for the Kent coastal lines.

Mr. Watts: BR has invited and received expressions of interest from ABB and GEC-Alsthom in being invited to tender for a possible new order for Kent coastal lines, in a form consistent with the terms of the private finance initiative.

Rail Privatisation

20. Mr. Janner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements he is making concerning the contracts of employment of senior executives after rail privatisation.

Mr. Watts: None.

29. Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he next intends to meet the Franchising Director to discuss the rail services being put out to franchise.

Mr. Watts: I next expect to meet the Franchising Director on 9 March.

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those parts of the railway system which will have been privatised or put out to contract by April 1996.

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Mr. Watts: Sales since 1981 are:

BR Hovercraft Ltd: 24 October 1981

BT Hotels (29 hotels sold in groups

to various purchasers): 1982 83 84

Superbreak Mini Holidays: 14 February 1983

Slateford Laundry, Edinburgh: 19 September 1983

Sealink (UK) Ltd: 27 July 1984

BT Advertising Ltd: 28 August 1987

Doncaster Wagon Works: 16 October 1987

Horwich Foundry: 15 August 1988

Travellers Fare: 19 December 1988

BR Engineering Ltd: 18 April 1989

Golden Rail: 9 May 1989

Transmark: 7 April 1993

Meldon Quarry: 4 March 1994

Intended Sales to April 1996:

Special Trains Unit

BR Maintenance Ltd (7 Depots)

Domestic Freight Businesses

Three Trainload Freight Companies


Red Star

Rail Express Systems

Three Rolling Stock Leasing Companies

BR Infrastructure Services

7 Design Offices

6 Track Renewal Units

7 Infrastructure Maintenance Units

BR Telecommunications

Various Businesses in BR Central Services.


Franchising of 51 per cent. of Railway Passenger Services. Certain Legal and Architectural Services have been Contracted Out.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask Secretary of State for Transport what further meetings he has had with British Rail to discuss its concerns about privatisation.

Dr. Mawhinney: I have regular meetings with the British Railways board to discuss a variety of issues including railway privatisation.

27. Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further representations he has received about the progress of rail privatisation.

Mr. Watts: I receive representations about all aspects of rail privatisation regularly.


23. Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to increase the use of the waterways for freight transportation.

Dr. Mawhinney: Users and providers of freight services are encouraged to consider the environmental and other benefits of waterborne transport. Grants are available under section 140 of the Railways Act 1993 for inland waterway developments which demonstrate an environmental benefit in the form of lorry miles saved.


24. Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to discuss with bus operators the European Union proposal that the percentage of passengers standing on buses should be increased.

Dr. Mawhinney: My Department is in regular contact with both the manufacturing and operating sides of the

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bus industry and is very much aware of their concerns about the proposed EC Bus and Coach Directive.

My hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Transport and Road Safety will shortly be meeting representatives from both sides of the industry specifically to discuss the full implications of the proposal.

Associated British Ports

25. Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who will be chairing the inquiry into Associated British Ports' application for navigation powers over the western Solent.

Mr. Norris: The inquiry on this application for a harbour order is expected to take place in the autumn. An inspector will be appointed by the Planning Inspectorate Agency once the inquiry date has been established.

Ministerial Travel

26. Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he next intends to travel on the railway line from Carlisle to London.

Mr. Watts: My right hon. Friend has no present plans which involve travel on the Carlisle to London railway line.

Road Pricing

28. Mr. Sutcliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning (a) motorway tolls and (b) urban road pricing in the last six months.

Mr. Watts: My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations on both subjects.

MV Derbyshire (Wreckage)

Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to complete his consideration of the chief inspector of marine accident's assessment of the material provided by the International Transport Workers' Federation following their location of the wreckage of the Derbyshire and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Mawhinney: The formal investigation in 1987 into the loss of the Derbyshire decided that

". . . the DERBYSHIRE was probably overwhelmed by the forces of nature in typhoon Orchid."

and added that

"the evidence available does not support any firmer conclusion". Subsequently, in June 1994, the wreckage of the Derbyshire was found during an ITF-sponsored search. The chief inspector of marine accidents has examined the evidence submitted to him by ITF and has advised me that the evidence still does not allow the cause of the Derbyshire's loss to be determined.

I have decided, therefore, that an assessment should be made of what further work might be undertaken to seek to determine the actual cause of the loss of the Derbyshire, together with assessments of the costs involved, the likelihood of establishing the cause, and the likely benefits to ship safety. I have asked the right hon. Lord Donaldson of Lymington to undertake these assessments with the following terms of reference:

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To assess--

what further work would be needed in order to learn more of and, if possible, make a judgment about the cause of the loss of the Derbyshire

in respect of each option for further work the assessed probability that the cause could be determined with reasonable confidence

for each option the costs likely to be incurred

what benefit to ship safety would be secured if the cause of the loss of the Derbyshire were established, or if better understanding of the cause of the loss was obtained, and whether in either case this would justify the likely costs involved.

A technical assessor will be appointed to assist Lord Donaldson. Lord Donaldson's report to me will be published.

British Rail Chairman

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if a new chairman of British Rail has been appointed to succeed Sir Bob Reid when he leaves the post at the end of March.

Dr. Mawhinney: I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. John Welsby, CBE, to take over the chairmanship of British Rail at 1 April 1995. John Welsby has been British Rail's chief executive since 1990, and will also continue in this post.

His appointment will be for a fixed period to 25 May 1998, at a salary of £180,000 a year. He will be eligible for a

performance-related bonus of up to 40 per cent. of salary, in common with other executive board members and in accordance with Treasury guidelines.

I am delighted that John Welsby has agreed to become the next chairman. His experience and long-standing commitment to improving our railways will be a great asset in taking forward the privatisation process. I know he is keen to see through these changes that are already underway, in order to develop and improve the railways to give rail user the services that we all want see. I should also like to pay tribute to Sir Bob Reid's achievement as chairman over the past five years. He has led BR through a period of substantial changes, which have improved both quality and efficiency in British Rail. I am grateful for all he has done.


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what actions have been taken concerning departmental action on bomb warnings since the meeting of 14 June 1989 between assistant secretary C. T. Harris and Mr. and Mrs. Martin Cadman, Lockerbie relatives, and Mr. Derek Dempster, a member of the Air Transport Users' Committee.

Mr. Norris: A working group was established in 1990 with the specific aim of reviewing and developing the procedures issued by the Department to the industry for the handling of bomb warnings. As a result revised procedures were introduced into the national aviation security programme in July 1991. In addition, a supporting training package was developed for bomb warning assessors.

Heathrow Airport

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions over any convenient

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period in the last 10 years, a jumbo jet 747 has been parked at the centre stand serviced by the Euro-lounge, at the Euro terminal, terminal 2, Heathrow airport.

Mr. Norris: My Department does not maintain such records. However, we have been told by a representative of Heathrow Airport Ltd. that this particular stand area did not, until recently, have the capacity to accommodate a Boeing 747 aircraft.

Maid of the Seas Aircraft

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library the records relating to all the movements for the Pan Am Clipper, Maid of the Seas, from the time it landed at London Heathrow on 21 December 1988 until departure for New York later that evening.

Mr. Norris: No. The official records relating to the movements of this aircraft were collated by the Metropolitan police as part of their investigation of the handling of the flight at Heathrow. We understand that such records may be required at a criminal trial.

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set up an inquiry to ascertain for what reasons on 21 December 1988 the Pan Am Clipper, Maid of the Seas was parked at the centre stand in an insolated position at Euro terminal, terminal 2, Heathrow before setting off on flight 103, destination New York.

Mr. Norris: My Department does not hold full details of the information sought. However, available information shows that the Pan Am Boeing 747 Maid of the Seas did not park at terminal 2. It arrived at Heathrow airport from San Francisco at 12.07 hours on 21 December 1988, and disembarked its passengers at stand K14, terminal 3. The aircraft remained at that stand until 18.04 hours when it departed bound for New York.

Forth Rail Bridge

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the letter of 14 February from Mr. J. D. Rimmington CB, director general of the Health and Safety Executive, to the hon. Member for Linlithgow, what information he has been given by Railtrack about (a) the timetable for painting the lattice tie members on the Forth rail bridge, (b) the timetable for painting the compression members on the Forth rail bridge and (c) the qualifications of operating in a marine environment of those who made the judgments for Railtrack that there are no significant structural implications relating to rust or the movement to a longer term repainting cycle.

Mr. Watts: Railtrack is in the second year of an eight-year programme for painting the lattice tie members of the Forth bridge. The strategy for painting the inclined tubular compression members is under review but should be resolved shortly. Railtrack has many structures subject to a marine environment. Judgments about structural integrity and steel work protection are taken on the advice of chartered structural civil and mechanical engineers employed by the railway. An assessment of the condition of the bridge, including advice on the principles to be adopted for future painting, has been carried out for Railtrack by consultants W. A. Fairhurst and Partners.

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Disabled Employees

Mr. McMaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the percentage of disabled people directly employed by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: Responses to voluntary questionnaires show that at least 2.4 per cent.--315--of Department of Transport staff have a disability.

Channel Tunnel

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport to whom and by what method a British traveller can obtain a response to a complaint about security on the Paris departure side of the channel tunnel rail route; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watts: All complaints from British-based travellers should be addressed to the customer relations department of European Passenger Services, the United Kingdom operator of the Eurostar service.

Rail Contracts

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many separate contracts will need to be completed in 1995 96 to enable the managed rail services to operate.

Mr. Watts: Railway industry organisations are currently translating into contractual form their existing operational and commercial relationships. No estimate is held centrally of the total number of contracts which will be entered into in 1995 96.

Midland Metro

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of how much more local funding is necessary before the Government release the funding they have promised for the midland metro line; how many jobs will be created by the new line; what other such rail lines are planned for the west midlands; and what percentage of funding for the midland metro line will come from the local area, and how much will come from the Government.

Mr. Norris: Where the benefits of a light rail scheme are primarily local in character, it is reasonable that the local community should make a significant contribution to the cost. There is no fixed percentage of the cost of such a scheme that the Government are prepared to contribute; in this case, the Government have offered to contribute between £95 million and £105 million, and invited the local community to consider ways in which it could provide the balance of funding required. We are discussing with the local authorities concerned proposals they have put to us on how this might be done.

Centro--West Midlands PTE--estimates that the scheme will lead to the creation of around 1,300 jobs, including those involved in its construction. It has submitted grant applications for two further lines, one from Snow Hill station to the national exhibition centre and Birmingham international airport, and one from Wolverhampton, through Walsall, to Dudley and Brierley Hill.

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London Buses

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost of fitting London buses with particulate control technology.

Mr. Norris: This is a matter for London Transport.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to implement a 13-week bus and rail card in and around London, similar to the one being introduced in Birmingham.

Mr. Norris: Ticketing arrangements are a matter for the relevant operators.

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