§ Mr. Buchanan
asked the Secretary of State for Transport in how many railway 1324 accidents, in each of the last five years, locomotive failure has been the cause or a contributing factor.
§ Mr. Buchanan
Is my hon. Friend aware that the figures that he has just given are a tribute to the skill and dedication of the people who care for and maintain the rolling stock on British Rail? The ageing nature of that rolling stock is presenting grave problems to these people. I appreciate the significance of my hon. Friend's announcement last month, but will he seek further to improve the rolling stock?
§ Mr. Horam
I support my hon. Friend's tribute to the efforts that have obviously led to the reduction in the number of accidents involving engines. The figures are a tribute to British Rail, in view of the existing state of its rolling stock. My hon. Friend will have noted my right hon. Friend's remarks about the importance of rolling programmes and investment levels generally. We take that to be an extremely important point.
§ Mr. Flannery
I compliment the dedication of British Rail and its splendid record on having so few accidents, but may I call my hon. Friend's attention to a central line, not a branch line, up to Sheffield, with its increasing deterioration of rolling stock? It has more breakdowns of engines than it should have and has had in the past. Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that more investment is necessary for that line in order to improve its whole service?