HC Deb 24 October 1983 vol 47 cc39-40W
Mr. Hanley

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what changes he has made in the responsibilities of the junior ministers in his Department; and what is the present division of responsibilities between them.

Mr. Ridley

In June 1983 the Department of Transport took over responsibility for shipping, marine and civil aviation matters from the former Department of Trade. I have asked my hon. Friend the Member for Hampshire, North-West (Mr. Mitchell) to assist me on these matters as Under-Secretary of State. As a consequence, the responsibility for some subjects which were previously handled by his predecessor have been transferred to my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Mrs. Chalker) as Minister of State.

These matters include local public transport, the bus industry, the Department's work affecting the road freight industry and the Department's research programme. In addition, the Minister of State will now be responsible for assisting me with the Department's work arising from the Government's proposals for reforming local government in London and the metropolitan counties. In particular I have asked her to handle work in connection with the establishment of London Regional Transport.

The present division of responsibilities is therefore: Minister of State: Motorway and trunk road programmes, local roads, the bus industry, local public transport including the establishment of London Regional Transport, road freight, rural transport, road safety standards, driver and vehicle licensing, vehicle testing and safety transport for disabled people, general responsibility for the Department's work in connection with the European Community and other European organisations, research, and the export of transport expertise. Under-Secretary of State: Railways, ports, shipping and marine, aviation.