§ Mr. Tom Clarke
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will indicate the average time taken by his Department to provide a substantive answer to letters from right hon. and hon. Members during the 12 months period to the latest available date.
§ Mr. Ridley
The precise information required is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost. However, a study of correspondence received in May 1985 shows that 80 per cent. of letters from right hon. or hon. Members have been replied to with an average response time of 15.147 working days. My ministerial colleagues and I aim to deal with all inquiries in three weeks, but some complex questions do inevitably take longer.