§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what was the cost of operating radar surveillance of shipping in the English channel in each of the last three financial years;
(2) what estimate his Department has made of the capital cost and annual running costs of installing radar surveillance equipment to monitor shipping traffic in the Fair Isle straits, the Minches, the Pentland firth and the North channel.
§ Mr. Norris
The operating costs of the channel navigation information service—CNIS—comprise extra manpower required by Her Majesty's coastguard at Langdon battery Dover and at the technical services unit at Highcliffe, the maintenance of the radar system and ancillary equipment, and an aircraft to identify vessels 147W infringing the traffic separation scheme. Figures for the last three years, in £000s, and the estimated outturn for 1992–93 are as follows:
1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 11992–93 Manpower 87 89 101 113 Maintenance 357 303 389 550 Aircraft 129 120 139 100 1 Estimate.
The manpower figures are estimated because they are not recorded separately within the budget for operating Langdon battery.
The radar system is being overhauled, with a new computer system being installed, at a total cost of £4.5 million. The maintenance costs this year have been higher because of this exercise but are expected to fall sharply when the new system is commissioned in April 1993.
The Department has not estimated the costs of installing and operating a similar system in any other area: this could be done only after a detailed study of the area concerned to determine what sites and equipment would be needed. The figures given for CNIS may not be indicative because some sites and equipment already available have been used, but they show the order of cost.