To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the progress on international arrangements to improve the safety of roll-on/roll-off ferries.
Yes. Following wide-ranging consultations, the United Kingdom has submitted, to the International Maritime Organisation, two sets of proposed amendments to the Safety of Life at Sea 74–78 convention. The first set will be considered for adoption in April.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the consultants employed by his Department to consider the safety of roll-on/roll-off ferries.
In the past three years my Department has obtained the services of what is now British Maritime Technology Ltd.; Lloyd's Register of Shipping; Newcastle university; and one consortium, comprising Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Ocean Fleets Ltd. and the General Council of British Shipping.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to receive interim reports on the structural safety of roll-on/roll-off ferries.
The report of the court of formal investigation into the capsize of the Herald of Free Enterprise included in its longer-term recommendations a proposal that there should be urgent investigations to find methods of improving the survivability of ro-ro ferries if the hull was breached. We intend to complete the first phase of this work by the end of this year.