Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by Docklands Light Railway (RT 23A)


  As you are aware DLR has only had limited experience of the Transport & Works Act procedures primarily associated with the London City Airport Extension.

  DLR has always tried to be open in its dealings with its neighbours and therefore the requirements to carry out full consultation under the procedures was not an onerous task but one which we feel benefited the project. We have carried out two major phases of consultation—the first of which involved sending out a consultation leaflet to the 3000 local residents and other interested parties. This resulted in over 10 per cent response, 90 per cent of which were in favour of the project. We also held a number of local meetings at which residents could hear more about the project but also voice any fears they had. We carried out visits to the other parts of the DLR system for local residents so they could see the design treatment and the nature of the DLR viaduct design. This consultation and series of visits paid dividends in helping the residents to understand how the extension might affect them.

  We also felt it was essential that we kept residents informed as the project progressed and a second phase of consultation was therefore carried out informing them of progress on the project and the likely timescales for making an application for a TWA Order.

  Our experience of using the procedures has so far been good but we are under no illusions that there will not be objections to the proposed scheme, particularly from the "institutional objectors". The London City Airport Extension project is a fairly localised project and this has enabled us to achieve good coverage for the information and get appropriate responses (although this has also involved a certain amount of legwork!). Carrying out a similar level of consultation on large projects such as Thameslink 2000, may not be as practical.

  We have not found the procedures to be overly expensive compared with the former Parliamentary Bill process and we feel we have managed to achieve good progress in a short timescale. Again the characteristics of the area through which we intend to build the extension (ie partly brownfield sites) possibly make the DLR extension an easier prospect when compared to tunnelling through Central London.

  In summary therefore we feel that the current procedures have not caused difficulty but we may have been fortunate in the nature of the project we are promoting.

  We have heard a number of comments from other organisations regarding the conduct of the inquiry particularly the timescale for receiving a decision. We believe we have worked up good relations with the DETR TWA unit and will await continuing good responses from them in the conduct of the remainder of the process.


  We understand that economists at the Private Finance Unit and the Department of the Environment carried out an appraisal of the Lewisham Extension scheme as a public sector comparator which indicated that the proposal PFI scheme gave better value.

February 2000

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