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The noble Lord said: We are still dealing with this set of regulations that conclude Part 1 of the Bill and we return to a debate that we have had on many issues regarding the relationship between the Bill and the Committee on Climate Change. It is interesting that the Minister again emphasised the role that he wished the committee to play in matters concerning aviation and shipping. We voiced our support for regulation changes being subject to the affirmative procedure and we feel that this is yet another way of reinforcing what the Minister said in his summing up on our first debate on aviation.

The scope of the definition of international aviation and shipping is surely of scientific concern. As the Minister said, measuring and devising systems are complex. What is to be regarded as “international” and how is this to be apportioned? We believe that this is a matter for the Committee on Climate Change and I think that the Minister has more or less accepted that. We do not believe that in the long run the Secretary of State should be given a free hand to decide what should or should not count towards the budget. It needs to be done on a scientific basis. While I recognise that as the Bill stands there are provisions for the negative approval procedure, a free hand is not entirely given and the import of what constitutes international aviation and shipping demands that it is subjected to as much scrutiny as possible.

Our amendment subjects this matter to the kind of scrutiny and approval that we have been talking about since the beginning of these debates—a scientific basis of decision making. Essentially, we want to ensure that these matters are defined in such a way that does not diminish the importance of the contribution that these sectors make to carbon emissions. Does the Minister consider the issue important enough to warrant

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the approval of the committee? I would be interested to hear his reasons if he does not, but his earlier speech more or less defined that the Committee on Climate Change would, indeed, be responsible for this matter. I beg to move.

Lord Rooker: On this related matter I have come armed with an incredibly long speech, much of which was covered by what I have already said. We cannot accept the amendments as they stand. What I would say goes with the grain of what we have said about the committee and the way we want it to work. As we have said throughout the consideration of the Bill, we do not want the committee to be executive. Amendment No. 120 would, in effect, give the committee a veto. We could not accept that. However, I am prepared to take the matter away and consider what role the committee might have as regards the thrust of the amendment.

I do not wish to be repetitive in terms of what Britain is doing internationally and we want the committee to take account of what we are doing internationally as well. While we do not think that the committee should be executive or that it should have a veto, on the other hand there is a case for reconsidering whether the committee might have a wider role than that provided for in the Bill. On that basis, I am happy to take the matter away. Otherwise, I am going to go over a lot of detail of what I have just said and that would be superfluous. I am not trying to cut short the debate. The caveat is that we certainly would not agree to the committee having a veto, but we certainly are prepared to look at the circumstances in which we can consider a better role for the committee in this context.

Lord Oxburgh: Perhaps I can comment on that. It seems to me quite important, when considering the role of the committee, that the Government should look at the different kinds of advice that it can give. I was taken aback earlier when the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, withdrew his amendment. It seems to me that on a strictly technical matter—such as what is a greenhouse gas—the committee should give very clear advice which the Government should follow. On matters where policy is concerned, it is important that the committee simply gives advice and that the Government put in their political considerations. It is important that there is not one rule which fits all the sorts of advice that the committee can give. On some sorts of advice it really should have the dominant role but on others it should play a subordinate role.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I note what the Minister has said on this. When he talks of the committee not having an executive role, I think he understands the nub of the difference on this issue. In much of our thinking, we see the Committee on Climate Change as being the driver of government across the departments. That has been a point of difference in many of the debates that we have had. Perhaps I may take him back to the discussions that we had on the previous sets of amendments which I felt summarised very well the necessary practical approach that the Government had to bring to the inclusion of aviation and shipping. At that stage, he made a key point: that he felt he needed to use the Committee on Climate Change to

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provide the information and the determination of these matters to guide the Secretary of State in what to do. In his response he recognised that, in many ways, the Government need to bring into the decision-making process another party, which is what these amendments seek to do. I do not know whether the Minister has any comment to make on what I have just said.

Lord Rooker: I know the precise point I made on the previous debate, on the point to which the noble Lord has just referred, because the paragraph in front of me was in bold. If officials want me to use certain words they print them in bold, and years ago I made a pledge that anything in bold I would repeat word for word—for the rest, I do not make it up as I go along, but I do not simply read out the essays, well drafted though they are. That is serious because that was the issue of trying to find a methodology to advise the Government.

At the end of the day, we believe that the elected Government should be responsible for taking the decisions. That is why the role of the Committee on Climate Change is crucial. Because of the expertise, the stature, public confidence and the acceptability of the committee that will be put together, we would get to a point where advice is given and one would have to be very unwise not to accept it. I cannot say that that will always be the case, but that can become de facto over a period of time. It is the same in this case, not as regards an executive role but as regards the stature of the committee. That is why it is crucial that we get its role, functions and membership right. We would not want the committee to have a veto, but, on the other hand, we would like to take this matter away and, between now and Report, have a look at it and come back with something that is a little better than we have now.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: With that assurance from the Minister, I am happy to withdraw the amendment. I thank him very much for the opportunity to discuss aviation and shipping between now and Report.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 120 not moved.]

Clause 25 agreed to.

Lord Rooker: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

Crossrail Bill

6.25 pm

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.

This substantial piece of legislation before us today will, if enacted, provide the necessary powers for the construction, maintenance and operation of Crossrail, a new east-west railway linking Maidenhead and Heathrow with Shenfield and Abbey Wood through new tunnels under central London.

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Crossrail will provide a new fleet of trains, operating a peak service in both directions through central London of 24 trains an hour, carrying an estimated 200 million passengers a year. Crossrail has a strong transport economic case and, in addition, we estimate that it will generate cash benefits to United Kingdom GDP of at least £20 billion. Others have suggested that these benefits to the national economy could be substantially higher. As such, Crossrail is a project of national significance as it will benefit not only London but the country as a whole. Crossrail will facilitate the continued sustainable development of London’s primary finance and business service activities located in both the City and Docklands, including employment growth of up to 30,000 jobs by 2026. Again, as Sir Rod Eddington made clear, supporting London’s economy should be a national priority, fuelling economic growth across the UK.

Crossrail will significantly increase the capacity of the rail network into and across London, thereby relieving congestion and overcrowding on the existing national rail and Underground networks while, at the same time, supporting economic development and regeneration. Crossrail is expected to attract some 80,000 additional jobs to regeneration areas.

The Crossrail route and the stations it will serve were carefully chosen through a rigorous optioneering process. I will describe the key elements of the project in a little more detail. As the House knows, Crossrail involves construction of new heavy rail tunnels under central London. From Maidenhead, Crossrail services will use the Great Western line before entering the new tunnel just outside Paddington, where a new station is to be built under Eastbourne Terrace. After that, trains will serve large new stations interchanging with the London Underground at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Whitechapel, where there will also be a connection with the Mayor's London Overground. At Farringdon, Crossrail will intersect and connect with the north-south Thameslink route. There will be a new Crossrail station at Liverpool Street which will provide interchange with the Underground and national rail network.

To the east of Whitechapel the railway splits. One limb of the tunnel emerges near Pudding Mill Lane near Stratford and joins the Great Eastern line. From that point, Crossrail trains will serve existing stations as far as Shenfield in Essex. The other limb heads south-east, passing through a major new station to be built in the North Dock at the Isle of Dogs before continuing via Custom House and then through a new tunnel under the Thames. The route passes through a new station at Woolwich before terminating at Abbey Wood in south-east London. From there, passengers will cross the platform to connect with North Kent services.

As well as the new tunnels, Crossrail will require very substantial investment in track and stations on the national rail network to the east and west of London. For example, the junction with the Heathrow airport rail spur will be completely remodelled and a new layout will provide grade-separated access to Acton depot.

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With permission, perhaps I can spend a short time explaining why this Bill is hybrid and how the process adopted for the Bill will differ from those for public Bills. The hybrid Bill process is used for projects that are of such exceptional scale or nature that they require the Government to assume the role of promoter. Hybrid Bills have been promoted periodically for rail and other major projects and the ability to use a hybrid Bill was retained when the private Bill system for railway works was replaced by the order-making process under the Transport and Works Act—TWA. Hybrid Bills work—the Channel Tunnel rail link and the Channel Tunnel projects attest to this—but their use is rare, mainly because of their consumption of the scarce resource of parliamentary time. Indeed, next month the Crossrail Bill celebrates its third anniversary.

On this occasion a hybrid Bill is more suitable than the TWA process because the Government themselves are behind a scheme of national importance. The parliamentary process also enables detailed scrutiny of those modifications to be made to primary legislation that are desirable to ensure that a project of this scale and complexity can be completed satisfactorily.

I shall explain briefly how the Government intend to take forward the Crossrail project if the Bill is enacted. Last October, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister announced that a funding package for Crossrail had been identified—something that had eluded successive Governments. This is an enormous project, which we expect to cost about £16 billion in cash prices—that is prices projected forward to the years in which the expenditure takes place. A huge amount of work has been done to arrive at that cost estimate and it has been independently verified. We believe that the estimate is robust. Much remains to be done to deliver the funding, but we are confident that the package announced is workable and can make Crossrail a reality.

The way in which the project will be funded and managed is set out in a heads of terms document agreed between my right honourable friend the Secretary of State and the Mayor of London’s transport authority, Transport for London. As part of our commitment to openness about the project, the heads of terms were published on 26 November 2007, and copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses. The Department for Transport and the mayor are joint sponsors of Crossrail. Since the end of 2004, DfT and TfL have been 50:50 joint owners of Cross London Rail Links Ltd—CLRL—the company that has developed the current project. The key issue for both sponsors has been to make sure that there is strong discipline on how the project is delivered. That has underpinned our approach to the governance of the project. The current proposal, as set out in the heads of terms, is that DfT and TfL will form a sponsor’s board to supervise the project. DfT and TfL will execute a series of formal agreements that will specify how the project will be taken forward.

CLRL will continue as the project delivery vehicle and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of TfL, but with the level of independence it needs to focus solely on delivery of the Crossrail project for its joint clients—TfL and DfT. CLRL will have a board dominated

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by independent non-executive directors chosen for their skills in delivering projects of this size and will be free to appoint a world-class team at market rates. Crossrail is a massive public undertaking and the Government take very seriously the need for strong stewardship. Our aim is to see new cross-London rail services running on time and on budget. Everything we are doing to establish the governance and structure of the project is intended to ensure that that aim is met.

Should the Bill be enacted, a single programme of construction beginning in 2010 will see the first Crossrail services coming into operation in 2017. We expect the full Crossrail service, including those services on the south-east section of the route to Abbey Wood, to be introduced on a phased basis over about 12 months, starting in 2017. The start and subsequent build-up of services will be phased in this way to allow time for rolling stock and railway systems’ testing and to ensure reliable performance. As we move closer to contracts being let, we will keep the precise timetable for delivery of the project and its different elements under careful review.

It is clear that Crossrail will not be completed until after London hosts the Olympics in 2012, and it never formed part of the Olympic bid. Crossrail works will not affect the ability of London to host a successful and smooth-running Olympics. We are confident that both projects can be delivered successfully through sensible planning and co-operation.

I began this speech by talking about the many benefits that Crossrail will bring. However, it cannot be denied that the project will also have some adverse impacts. It is after all not possible to build a large public transport infrastructure project in a densely populated area, such as the very centre of London, without it impacting on those living and working on or near the intended route. These impacts will include noise disturbance and adverse consequences for townscape, landscape, visual amenity and heritage sites. The Government do not take these environmental impacts lightly and have put in place a complex package of controls, mitigation and compensation measures to reduce and alleviate them.

For example, various provisions in the Bill require detailed consents and approvals to be obtained from relevant statutory bodies, such as local planning and highway authorities. Another important control is provided by the environmental minimum requirements, which will place a number of obligations on the nominated undertaker—the person or persons who will in due course be nominated to construct the project—and which will include a range of undertakings and assurances addressing environmental concerns.

When the Bill was first introduced in the other place in February 2005, a lengthy environmental statement was produced to describe the likely significant environmental impacts of the Crossrail project. Since then, further statements have been produced in light of changes made to the project or where additional information became available after the production of the original statement. The Government invited comments on each statement and by August last year more than 400 responses had been

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submitted. These responses have been published in two Command Papers—one in July 2005 and one in November last year.

In addition, the Select Committee process, which is of course unique to a hybrid Bill, provides a forum in which those with private interests specifically affected by the proposals can have their concerns heard. A number of changes to the project were made during the Select Committee process in the other place that are aimed at reducing the environmental impacts, including certain locally significant changes to the route made for the protection of petitioners. I am sure that those victims—or rather volunteers—who are to serve on the committee will not need reminding that the Select Committee in the other place sat for 21 months and heard some 200 petitions. The Bill is a better piece of legislation as a result of that committee’s careful and detailed scrutiny.

Prospective members of the Select Committee can take comfort that the promoter and petitioner are incentivised to work together to try to resolve a concern so that the issue does not have to be heard by the committee at all. Over half of the petitioners in the other place did not appear before the committee, and of the 200 or so who did, the vast majority did so on a considerably reduced number of issues. A good example of this co-operative approach was the change to the tunnelling strategy.

Crossrail requires the construction of 21 kilometres of twin bore running tunnels under central London. The original Crossrail tunnelling strategy required 16 tunnel drives from five different work sites. This included the use of an intermediate tunnel-boring machine launch site at Hanbury Street in the Spitalfields area of London. It is fair to say that this proved extremely contentious. A major review of the construction programme in 2005, as well as a desire to address the concerns expressed about the environmental impact of using the Hanbury Street site in this way, led CLRL in 2006 to develop a revised tunnelling strategy that reduced the number of tunnel drives to 10, focused tunnelling activity at three work sites and, crucially, avoided the need to launch tunnel boring machines from the Hanbury Street site, thus reducing the impact on that area. The Select Committee welcomed the revised tunnelling strategy. That acts as a good example of what can come from the Select Committee approach.

There are other examples of how the project has changed as a result of the parliamentary process. As those who have followed this project over the past three years will know, the Crossrail Bill, as deposited in 2005, sought powers for the construction of a rolling stock maintenance depot and associated stabling sidings on a site south of the Great Eastern line at Romford. Concerns were expressed by the London Borough of Havering, local residents and others about the impacts of the proposed depot. As a result, the promoter spent many months in the first half of 2006 looking into whether there was a viable alternative depot strategy that would remove the need for facilities at Romford. Having considered the revised depot strategy which proposed the relocation of the main Crossrail depot from Romford to Old

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Oak Common, the committee agreed that the proposed depot should be relocated.

As noble Lords will know, Liverpool Street station is one of the capital’s major railway stations as well as being an extremely busy London Underground station; 123 million travellers use it each year. The Select Committee heard from petitioners who expressed concern that the proposed ticket hall arrangements would result in congestion. The committee considered a great deal of evidence on this issue and were sympathetic to the argument for enhancing ticket hall facilities. As a result, the committee asked the promoter to find a way that was acceptable to all sides. Eventually, a solution was agreed for an additional ticket hall together with enhancements to the existing facilities, which included an extended gate line. The necessary amendments to the Bill were promoted, and it is accepted that the additional enhancement will ensure that Liverpool Street station is able to remain an efficient transport hub for years to come.

One of the main concerns regarding the project is potential noise disturbance caused by Crossrail trains running in tunnels. To protect those who live above the shallowest sections of tunnel, the Select Committee asked us to ensure that floating slab track—an enhanced form of railway track that reduces the noise transmitted through the ground—was fitted in all tunnels that pass under residential property at a depth of 15 metres or less, as a means of keeping noise and vibration to a minimum. To protect certain sound-recording businesses based in Soho, who argued that they operated extremely noise-sensitive equipment, the committee asked us to ensure that floating slab track was also fitted in the tunnels immediately under Soho. The Government accepted both of these decisions, and also gave an assurance that consideration would be given to the use of a better track-form technology than floating slab track, if such a technology became available before detailed design.

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