§ Mr. Steinberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures are being taken to combat the recent episodes of vandalism to equipment on the east coast line; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
I understand that BR has been suffering very serious problems of vandalism on the east coast main line in recent weeks, particularly involving cutting and removal of signal cables at various points over a 100-mile stretch of the route in north-east England. The British Transport police, in co-operation with British Rail, have been undertaking a large-scale operation to contain and reduce the vandalism, and I understand that there have been some 50 arrests. British Rail is also speeding up the removal of redundant cabling and is taking measures to improve the security of key installations.