asked the Minister of Transport how many of his Department's inspectors of commercial vehicles there are; how many are employed in the Merseyside area; how many random spot checks have been carried out in 1979–80 nationally and on Merseyside; and how many prosecutions resulted.
My Department employs 221 traffic examiners and 455 vehicle examiners who are responsible for the enforcement of road traffic law in relation to commercial vehicles. I regret that detailed information is not available in precisely the form requested by the hon. Member, but 23 traffic examiners and 55 vehicle examiners are employed in the north-western traffic area, which includes Merseyside. During 1979, 187,529 vehicles were inspected by traffic examiners at spot checks nationally, of which 12,090 vehicles were checked in the north-western traffic area. As a result of these checks there were 19,426 summonses issued nationally involving 14,295 prosecutions of which 935 and 441 respectively were in the north-western traffic area.During the same period vehicle examiners inspected 73,433 vehicles nationally of which 6,606 were in the north-western traffic area. My Department's vehicle examiners do not normally institute prosecutions as a result of examinations for mechanical condition, although some prosecutions are instituted by the police.My vehicle examiners have powers to issue prohibition notices and during the year ending 31 December 1979, 4,267 immediate and 10,599 delayed notices were issued nationally of which 529 and 1,155 respectively, were issued in the north-western traffic area.