Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, has called for a proper risk assessment to be carried out on the impact of the Transport Secretary’s decision to close the coastguard centres at Clyde, Forth, Portland, Liverpool, Yarmouth, Brixham, Thames and Swansea. Maria Eagle said:
“The Tory-led Government’s decision to close nearly half of the UK‘s coastguard stations has nothing to do with improving safety along Britain’s coastline but is a consequence of cutting the transport budget too far and too fast. Ministers must now carry out a full risk assessment of these closures and allow the further period of consultation to cover the revised plans as a whole, not just the revisions to the original plans.
“The further risk assessment must also look at the decision to end funding for the Emergency Towing Vessels that were a clear recommendation of Lord Donaldson’s inquiry following the Braer disaster. In addition, it should take into account the botched cuts at the MoD which will leave the country without maritime surveillance capability from 2015, leaving a massive capability gap which can only compound the risks from the closure of coastguard stations."