§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions he has had with Railtrack concerning the educational programmes carried out by the safety and school liaison unit; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what recent discussions have taken place with Railtrack and other interested parties concerning the implementation of anti-vandalism programmes; arid if he will make a statement;
(3) what proposals he has to combat and contain acts of vandalism on railway lines in (a) Strathclyde, (b) Scotland and (c) Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
[holding answers 6 July 1994]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I regularly meet the Railtrack chairman and board members to discuss a wide range of matters.
On 1 April Railtrack took over from British Rail responsibility for the trespass and vandalism campaign, including the related programme of school visits. It has made it clear that it is committed to continuing with, and indeed developing further, this activity, both to broaden its approach beyond schools, and to ensure that specific problems are targeted in the areas where they are most likely to occur.
Railtrack, working closely with British Rail and the British Transport police, is identifying what further action might be employed to deter the specific problem of vanalism, with particular focus on the known urban problem areas. It is in the course of consulting individuals and organisations to explore the potential for more effective measures.
In Scotland both ScotRail and the BTP are actively involved in promoting safety on the railways through the safety and schools liaison unit and their involvement in the crucial crew exercises which bring home to school children the dangers.