Lieut-Colonel Geoffrey Clifton-Brown:
asked the Minister of Transport what has been the extent of damage by fire to agricultural crops this summer caused by railway engines; and to what extent it is estimated to be due to the discontinuance of preventive attachments being fitted to the engines.
The total number of reported lineside fires affecting agricultural land, alleged to have been caused by railway engines this, year so far, is roughly 4,000. It is not established however, that spark ignition was the cause in all such cases. I am unable at the moment to state the extent of the damage caused to agricultural crops, but I am making inquiries and will communicate with the hon. Member. There has been no discontinuance of preventive attachments to engines.