§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has received the British Ports Federation study about extending light dues to pleasure craft.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
The British Ports Federation report is being published today, and I have placed copies of it in the Library.
I am grateful for the work done by the Federation on this difficult subject. I will wish to consider its report carefully, and I have reached no conclusions on its primary recommendation. This is that a flat rate light dues charge should be introduced for pleasure craft users based on a new compulsory registration system. The federation argues that closer regulation of the growing number of pleasure craft is increasingly desirable to assist with crime prevention and safety as well as to provide a basis for 988W levying a contribution towards the costs of the aids to navigation provided by the general lighthouse authorities which are used by pleasure craft.
I believe these wider issues require careful consideration, and I am therefore seeking the views of interested parties on all aspects of the BPF report before reaching any conclusions. The changes recommended by the BPF could in any event not be implemented without primary legislation.