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Volume 884: debated on Monday 13 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade how many vehicles and how many passengers have been conveyed from Great Britain to the Continent of Europe by hovercraft in the last three years; and what plans he has for encouraging the more extensive use of hovercraft in this ferry trade.

The number of vehicles carried in the years 1971 to 1973 was 178,000, 196,000 and 214,000 respectively, excluding buses and coaches, which numbered 2,000 in 1973; 1974 figures of vehicles, and passenger figures for all years, are not available.The future development of these services is a matter for the commercial judgment of the operators concerned. Government policy towards the production of hovercraft is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry.