HC Deb 20 October 1981 vol 10 cc121-2W
Mr. Chris Patten

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what was the increase in productivity achieved by British Railways in each of the last five years and at the latest date for which figures are available.

Mr. David Howell:

Productivity on British Rail is traditionally expressed in terms of passenger miles and net freight tonne miles per member of staff employed per year. The performance indicators in the board's annual report and accounts for 1980 include the following:

Passenger milesinet freight tonne miles per member of staff employed ('000s)

1976 137.2
1977 140.9
1978 144.7
1979 147.8
1980 142.9

The recent decline is partly attributable to a drop in freight carryings as a result of the three months' steel strike and a falling off in industrial activity.

British Rail is making vigorous efforts to match services to the reduced demand and to reduce staff numbers. The total number of staff employed by the railway business of British Railways, including corporate and common services but excluding British Rail Engineering Ltd., in each of the last five years is as follows:

31 December 1976 186,833
31 December 1977 182,336
31 December 1978 182,198
31 December 1979 182,031
31 December 1980 178,059
13 June 1981 174,809
Mr. Alexander Fletcher

Net school —as that term is used in "Rating Review"—per pupil is as follows: