HC Deb 25 January 1990 vol 165 cc783-4W
Mr. David Porter

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will announce the results of the survey of bathing water quality made in 1989; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier

The results for the survey carried out during the 1989 bathing season showed that 76 per cent, of the 401 identified bathing waters in England and Wales met the mandatory coliform bacteria standards of the EC bathing water directive. This compares with 66 per cent, of the 364 identified bathing waters in 1988.

These figures are encouraging, though some of the improvement is no doubt attributable to the good weather last year. Nevertheless, the results show that we are continuing to make good progress in cleaning up our bathing waters. We have already announced a £1.4 billion capital investment programme over the next 10 years as a result of which we expect over 95 per cent, of our bathing waters to meet the directive's standards by the mid-1990s and to achieve full compliance within 10 years.

The 1989 results for England and Wales are set out in the table in summary form. I shall arrange for a more detailed summary of the results to be placed in the Library, and we shall also be sending the results to the Commission of the European Communities.

Bathing Waters Survey—1989 Results for England and Wales Compliance with Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC):
Pass Fail Total
Northumbrian Region 20 12 32
Yorkshire Region 18 4 22
Anglian Region 23 5 28
Thames Region 3 0 3
Southern Region 45 20 65
Wessex Region (South Coast) 25 2 27
South West Region 113 19 132
Wessex Region (Bristol Channel) 6 5 11
Welsh Region 40 8 48
North West Region 11 22 33
Totals 304 97 401