Coastguard Risk Assessment Call; MP Fears for Sea and Public Safety

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Byline: IAN HERNON

SHADOW Transport Secretary Maria Eagle demanded a full-scale risk assessment on the government's closure of Crosby Coastguards station.

The Garston MP joined a chorus of complaints that the shutdown - and others around Britain - will put seafarers and the public at greater risk.

The Mersey centre is one of eight to be culled with most search and rescue operations coordinated by a national centre at Southampton.

Ms Eagle said: "This is terrible news.

"We must keep pressuring the government to review this decision and put safety first.

"Closing nearly half the UK's coastguards stations has nothing to do with improving safety but a consequence of cutting the transport budget too far and too fast."

She added: "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 plan."

She said that the assessment should also cover the decision to end funding for Emergency Towing Vessel's and "botched" Ministry of Defence cuts which will leave the coastline with no maritime surveillance capacity from 2015. …