§ Mrs. Mahon
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met representatives of ferry staff to discuss safety standards.
§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the health and safety implications of longer shift patterns aboard British ferries.
§ Mr. Channon
Working arrangements on board United Kingdom-registered ferries operating out of United Kingdom ports vary considerably, according to the companies and routes involved. I understand that proposals for new working arrangements for certain routes are now under discussion between the seafarers trades unions and the company concerned. Whatever arrangements may result will, of course, need to comply with the statutory officers manning requirements and with the statutory requirement that the watch system shall be such that the efficiency of watchkeepers is not impaired by fatigue.