To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the railway inspectorate will be transferred to the Health and Safety Executive; and if he will make a statement.
As I told my hon. Friend the Member for Kingswood (Mr. Hayward) on 19 July, at column 711,
I have decided to transfer the railway inspectorate to the Health and Safety Executive. Following consultations with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Employment, and the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission, I have now made an agency agreement with the commission for the discharge of my railway safety functions. Under this agreement, the railway inspectorate will transfer to the Health and Safety Executive on 1 December, where its identity will be maintained. There will be no change in ministerial responsibilities. I will remain answerable on all matters affecting railway passenger safety. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Employment will remain accountable for railway employee safety matters under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.