This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on shipping and water transport. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

14.04.2016Access to transport for disabled people
This paper explains the legislative frameworks that apply to public transport passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility.
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
03.11.2015Transport in Wales
This note gives an overview of those transport areas that are reserved to the UK Parliament; those which are devolved to Wales and proposals in the Draft Wales Bill to devolve further powers.
02.06.2015Transport: passenger rights, compensation and complaints
This briefing paper provides information on passenger rights, compensation and how to make a complaint across four forms of transport: rail, bus and coach, air and sea (ferries and cruise ships).
01.06.2015Transport in Scotland
This note gives an overview of those transport areas that are reserved to the UK Parliament; those which are devolved to Scotland and proposals in the Smith Commission and the subsequent Scotland Bill to devolve further powers.
29.11.2013The Royal Navy's surface fleet: in brief
The Royal Navy is in the middle of an ambitious programme to upgrade its surface fleet with new destroyers, frigates and at least one operational aircraft carrier.
25.04.2013Military Search and Rescue to end in 2016
The Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy will no longer provide a Search and Rescue Helicopter service in the UK after March 2016. A wholly civilian service run by Bristow Helicopters Ltd and managed by the Department for Transport will provide the Search and Rescue Helicopter capability for the UK.
09.04.2013Shipping: HM Coastguard
This note looks at the changes to the Coastguard service over the past few years and the recent privatisation of helicopter Search and Rescue.
17.01.2013Antarctic Bill - Committee Stage
The Antarctic Bill is presented as a Private Member's Bill by Neil Carmichael MP. This note sets out the issues discussed in the Bill Committee on 21 November 2012. These included: the timing of the enactment of the provisions relating to the liability annex, compatibility with existing shipping liability provisions, and the wider issue of the future of the British Antarctic Survey.
02.01.2013Ports: privatisation of trust ports
This note sets out the legislative procedure put in place by the previous Conservative Government to allow for the privatisation of trust ports; how this was implemented in the mid-1990s; and the possibility of more trust ports being privatised in the future. It also gives information about the proposed privatisation of the Port of Dover, which has been the subject of much controversy and was finally rejected by the Government in December 2012.


05.06.2015Trends in Transport
Transport is a key driver of economic growth. It links people to their workplaces and connects businesses. It also affects health, the environment and societal wellbeing. This POSTnote looks at why transport is changing, outlines current trends across and within transport sectors and considers the planning of transport networks.
01.12.2008River basin management plans, December 2008
This POSTnote outlines some of the challenges in implementing River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) in the UK to meet Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives.

Select Committee Reports

20.12.2011Piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
10.03.2010The proposal for a National Policy Statement on Ports.
Transport Select Committee report [Commons]
26.01.2010Ports in Wales.
Government response. Department for Transport; Welsh Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
20.10.2009Reducing CO2 and other emissions from shipping.
Government response. Department for Transport; Department of Energy and Climate Change; Environmental Audit Select Committee report [Commons]
08.07.2009The Maritime and Coastguard Agency's response to growth in the UK merchant fleet.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the upcoming pre-trial hearing of Private First Class Bradley Manning on 16 December 2011; expresses its hope for a free and fair trial process; further notes ...
That this House recognises the frustration and anger of many British citizens in having to wait in long queues at entry ports on re-entering the country; applauds the Home Secretary's ...
That this House notes the good work done by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in safeguarding the only paddle steamer left in the world, Paddle Steamer Waverley; further notes ...
That this House pays tribute to the Waverley Steam Navigation Company, a registered charity, for its work in maintaining and operating Paddle Steamer Waverley, the world's last sea-going ...
That this House regrets that summer season2011 might see the last sailing of the paddle steamer Waverley; notes that the Waverley is the only such British vessel that has been preserved ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses