§ Mr. Bayley
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many former employees of the BREL carriage works in York have died of asbestos-related diseases since 1964; how many have received compensation from British Rail; what was the average length of time from the date at which compensation was sought to the date it was paid; what was the average cash amount of compensation awarded; and what plans his Department has to improve the speed with which British Rail settles these claims and the level of compensation paid.
§ Mr. Freeman
The statistical information requested in the question is not readily available. I understand from British Rail that claims are dealt with, and compensation is determined, in accordance with established legal and commercial principles. Claims are processed as quickly as possible but, given that the episodes giving rise to such claims are likely to have occurred some 30 or 40 years before hand, the task of investigating in order to establish the relevant facts is time consuming, for both claimant and employer alike.