Skip to main content

Ferries: Safety

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL949, tabled on 8 July 2014

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea, whether they will reconsider plans to scrap a number of maritime safety regulations applying to roll-on roll-off passenger vessels which were introduced following the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987.

Answered on

15 July 2014

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is satisfied that the measures contained in the regulations proposed for revocation have been superseded by more modern and effective measures, including improved stability standards, and would not cause a deterioration of safety requirements. In addition, there is close oversight of the UK ferry industry by MCA Marine Surveyors to ensure that the circumstances leading to such an accident, such as the Sewol, would be extremely unlikely on a ferry on the UK flag.

The MCA is currently consulting on their proposal to revoke two sets of maritime safety regulations applying to roll-on roll-off passenger vessels which were introduced following the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987. That consultation will end on 10 August 2014.

It would be inappropriate to comment on whether the MCA will reconsider the proposal until that consultation has ended and they have analysed all responses.