Crockart calls for rethink on coastguard station closures

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart has backed calls for a rethink on the UK Government's plans to cut the number of round-the-clock coastguard stations.

Mr Crockart put his name to a Commons motion urging reconsideration of the plans. He said: "Lifeguard stations play a crucial role in protecting and supporting those at sea and I am concerned that by reducing the number of stations we will see a reduction in the essential local knowledge offered by them. I am also worried about the harm to the economies of coastal communities.

"I do accept that recent changes in maritime activity have made reorganisation of the coastal services necessary and that improved information systems have increased the ability of coastguards to co-ordinate rescue operations from a distance. However, knowledge of local areas remains vital and I remain unconvinced that closing stations is the best solution to the challenges facing the service."