HC Deb 25 November 1993 vol 233 cc105-7W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what inspections he has made of Russian Klondyke factory ships in United Kingdom coastal waters;

(2) what assessment he has made of the risks to human life of Russian Klondyke factory ships.

Mr. Norris

As with other merchant vessels, these factory ships are liable to inspection as part of the port state control regime when they are in port. Ships at sea are not usually inspected not least because of the problems of access. Following recent incidents it has become clear that there is cause for concern about these particular vessels. and my Department is taking special steps to carry out an intensified programme of inspections of these vessels this week if weather conditions permit. We shall also be considering what further steps can and should be taken to

In table 1, it is not possible to split the bus and underground figures to show the number of journeys into and out of London.

The figures in table 2 do not include journeys which did not terminate in central London, and cannot be split to show the number of passengers who started their journey outside London. The numbers leaving central London are likely to be very similar to those arriving.

Table 1
Passengers journeys per year on London Buses and London Underground 1982 to 1992–93
London Buses London Underground
1982 1,039 498
1983 1,089 563
1984–85 1,153 672
1985–86 1,146 732
1986–87 1,158 769
1987–88 1,211 798
1988–89 1,206 815
1989–90 1,183 765
1990–91 1,180 775
1991–92 1,149 751
1992–93 1,127 728

ensure that these vessels do not pose a danger in terms either of potential calls on our rescue services, or as a pollution threat to the United Kingdom coastline.

Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the risks of oil spillage from Russian Klondyke factory ships; and if he will make a statement;

(2) how many Russian Klondyke factory ships are currently in United Kingdom coastal waters;

(3) how many Klondyke factory ships in each of the last five years have required assistance from (a) the coastguard rescue, (b) the Lerwick lifeboat and (c) Lerwick harbour.

Mr. Norris

On 22 November 1993, 98 Klondykers were known to be in United Kingdom waters. Of these about 60 are Russian.

In each of the last five years the number of occasions when assistance was given to Klondyke factory ships by (a) coastguard, (b) Lerwick lifeboat, and (c) Lerwick harbour was:

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993
(a) 2 8 8 7 16
(b) 1 0 4 1 9
(c) 1 0 0 1 3

On the basis of eight incidents in the last four years resulting in pollution from Klondykers following accidents the risk is significantly greater than for other types of ship in United Kingdom waters.

Inspections carried out on these vessels when they are in port have included consideration of their compliance with the international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships. These inspections have not indicated a particular risk of illegal oil discharges from these vessels.