§ Mr. Peter Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is the average waiting time for a 499W telephone call to the central pensions office in Newcastle after it has been received at the switchboard before it is answered by the appropriate office;
(2) what plans there are to improve the speed of response to telephone calls by the appropriate departments at the central pensions office at Newcastle after they have been received at the switchboard.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
The average time when the required extension is free is 10 seconds. Information is not collected showing how long it takes to connect to an extension when it is engaged.
A new telephone exchange and additional lines are to be installed at Newcastle central office later this year which will help to improve response times particularly through automatic re-routing of calls.