HC Deb 26 June 1979 vol 969 cc143-4W
Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what consultations have taken place between the Health and Safety Executive and the Port of London Authority since July 1978 concerning the safety of navigation on the Thames particularly of ships carrying hazardous cargoes; what specific recommendations have been made: to what extent these have been implemented: and whether the local authorities most closely concerned have been kept informed.

Mr. Mayhew

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 20 June 1979], gave the following answer:

The chairman of the Health and Safety Commission tells me that since July 1978 the area director for London North-East area has had two meetings with the director of marine operations for the Port of London Authority. The safety of navigation in the Canvey Reach of the Thames was discussed at these meetings, to clarify the position regarding the eight knot speed limit mentioned in the Canvey report.

Following the second meeting the PLA issued a revised notice to mariners dealing with precautions to be observed by all vessels when in the vicinity of berths when vessels carrying hazardous cargoes were moved or maneouvring. These precautions include a speed limit of not more than 8 knots through the water or the minimum speed necessary for adequate control and safe navigation whichever is the greater. The safety of navigation within the limits of the Port of London is primarily the responsibility of the PLA. However the area director has consulted the PLA about the implementation of this notice and speeds are regularly monitored by the Thames navigation service station at Gravesend. The results of regular radar checks indicate that in general the speed limit is being observed but the matter is being kept under review.

The area director for East Anglia area keeps the chief executives of Essex county council, Castlepoint district council and Thurrock borough council informed on all such relevant health and safety matters arising from the Canvey report.