§ Mr. Flynn
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which are the two long-term recommendations of the Herald of Free Enterprise inquiry that have not been implemented; and why there were considered unnecessary; 
(2) which are the two long-term recommendations of the Herald of Free Enterprise inquiry that have been implemented in alternative ways, and what these are. 
§ Mr. Norris
[holding answer 9 April 1995]: The two long-term recommendations of the court of inquiry which were not implemented because they were considered unnecessary were the recommendation that roll-on roll-off passenger ferries should have dedicated pumps capable of stripping at a rate of at least 600 tonnes an hour and that there should be drain valves which must be controlled remotely and operable from the bridge.
Both recommendations were considered, but after consultation were felt to be unnecessary because, in practice, existing drainage arrangements could already cope with amounts of water approaching these levels. Moreover, pumps of the size recommended could not cope with the significantly larger volume of water involved in catastrophic flooding as occurred on the Herald of Free Enterprise and, indeed, on the Estonia. There may also be difficulties in guaranteeing power supplies in situations of catastrophic flooding. Automatic drain valves are now fitted as a matter of course, so there is no need for their remote control.
The two long-term recommendations implemented in alternative ways were the recommendations that the freeboard from the margin line to the vehicle deck should be increased to a minimum of perhaps 1 m, and that attention should be given to achieving substantially higher downflooding angles. These recommendations were addressed through an extensive research programme and the subsequent adoption of the SOLAS 90 survivability standard for existing ships.