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Waterways: Safety Measures

Volume 685: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What safety measures have been introduced on the River Thames during the past five years.[HL7727]

From 2001, the following measures have been introduced.

2001

Four RNLI lifeboats commissioned.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) introduces a requirement for all domestic passenger ships to have a safety management system.

Since 2001 PLA introduces progressive improvement and enhancement of Vessel Traffic Services capabilities, including improvements to isophase lights.

2002

MCA takes over co-ordination of search and rescue on the tidal river, from a new station at Thames Barrier Navigation Centre.

2003

MCA introduces new working time regulations for inland waterways vessels. MCA issues new guidance on the training of crew on passenger ships.

2004

PLA formally adopts the new national Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code.

2005

MCA issues new guidance on passenger ships manning levels

PLA formally adopts the new national fitness for purpose standard.

2006

PLA develops local byelaws (subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State) requiring the carriage of transponder technology (automatic identification system—AIS) on passenger vessels and other large commercial vessels in central London and the upper reaches of the Thames.

EC Directive 76/135 used to confirm UK may continue to require higher safety standards for UK and EU registered vessels operating on the Thames and other specified waterways.