HC Deb 16 January 1991 vol 183 cc495-6W
Sir Russell Johnston

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make it his policy to require the operators of the channel tunnel to segregate passengers and vehicles during transit.

Mr. Freeman

Responsibility for the design, construction and safe operation of the tunnel system rests with Eurotunnel. All of Eurotunnel's designs and operating procedures are subject to the approval of the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission—IGC—which is advised on safety matters by the independent Channel Tunnel Safety Authority—SA. Both are binational bodies established by the treaty of Canterbury.

In December 1989 the IGC decided that Eurotunnel could continue to develop its transport system on the basis that coach and private car passengers would not be segregated from their vehicles during transit through the tunnel. With regard to safety aspects of their decision, the IGC took the advice of the SA that non-segregation would be acceptable subject to a number of binding requirements. Copies of the IGC's decision and the SA's note of March 1990 reviewing the principal factors on which their advice was based, were placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date he expects to initiate the red route experiment in east London; over what lengths of road it will operate; and how many person hours per day or per week he estimates will be spent in its operation.

Mr. Chope

The red route pilot scheme in east London is entirely on local authority roads, from the Angel to Butcher row. A distance of some 3.5 miles is involved plus certain measures on adjacent roads. The local authorities concerned are expecting to install the scheme over the next few months beginning in February on the Aldgate and Commercial road stretch. The effort to be applied to enforcement maintenance, and fine tuning of the measures will depend on experience of their operation. Estimating the resource requirements is one of the objectives of the pilot scheme.