HL Deb 01 November 1994 vol 558 c55WA
Lord Mackie of Benshie

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they have not conducted an investigation to ensure that the standards of design and construction applicable to British ferries are sufficiently high to protect those ferries against the conditions that sank the "Estonia".

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen)

We have conducted a number of investigations into ro-ro ferry safety, including a £125 million research programme to investigate the survivability standards. That research led to increased survivability standards for existing ro-ro ferries which came into force on 1st October. While the conditions that led to the loss of the "Estonia" have not been fully established, operational procedures were introduced after the "Herald of Free Enterprise" disaster to preclude the entry of water through bow doors. In addition we are in the process of developing a new research project to address a risk analysis of all car deck doors.