Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill First Special Report


172.  There are a number of generic issues affecting the broader constituents represented by the local authorities. Negotiations on these generic issues have taken place with a lead local authority, agreement has been reached between all local authorities and the Promoter, and the results have been made available to the general public, generally through publication of a revised project document of some description (e.g. an Information Paper).

173.  Agreement on a number of these generic issues was reached in advance of the Bill being introduced into the House of Lords, a summary of these agreed issues was provided to the Lords Select Committee in the letter sent to the Committee by Mr Keith Berryman, Managing Director of CLRL, on 11 April 2008 and a slightly amended version of the table presented in that letter is presented below. The table has been amended to reflect the fact that since the last note was issued to the Committee agreement was reached with the London Borough of Havering, lead local authority on the issue of noise from fixed installations. For those wanting more information on these issues Appendix 4 to this Report contains a detailed explanation of the generic agreements.

London Borough Negotiations

IssueLead Local Authority Relevant Document(s)
Agreed prior to the House of Lords Select Committee
Construction noise mitigationLondon Borough of Tower Hamlets Information Paper D9, Noise and Vibration Mitigation Scheme (Version 3, 20 November 2007)
Dust monitoringRoyal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Crossrail Environmental Minimum Requirements for Design and Construction: Construction Code (Annex 1 to the EMR) (Revision 4.9, 2 November 2007)
Surface railway noise and vibrationLondon Borough of Newham Information Paper D26, Surface Railway Noise and Vibration (Version 2, 20 November 2007)
Crossrail Construction Code (which covers the whole range of construction impacts) All the boroughs, but in particular Westminster City Council Crossrail Environmental Minimum Requirements for Design and Construction: Construction Code (Annex 1 to the EMR) (Revision 4.0, 2 November 2007)
Agreed during the House of Lords Select Committee
Environmental Minimum Requirements (EMRs)—General Principles London Borough of HaveringCrossrail Environmental Minimum Requirements for Design and Construction—General Principles (Revision 3.2, 29 February 2008). The key elements agreed during the Select Committee are paragraphs 1.3 and footnotes 2, 3 and 4.
Groundborne noise and vibrationLondon Borough of Camden Information Paper D10, Groundborne Noise and Vibration (Version 4, 3 April 2008). The key elements agreed during the Select Committee are paragraphs 2.10, 2.11, 2.13 and 2.14, and the entirety of sections 3-5.
Noise from fixed installationsLondon Borough of Havering Information Paper D25, Noise from Fixed Installations (Version 3, 23 April 2008). The key elements agreed during the Select Committee are paragraphs 1.1, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9 and 3.2.

174.  We are greatly indebted to all the local authorities for the time and effort put into negotiations with the Promoter to reach agreement on these issues. We believe that the process for negotiations with local authorities, involving a local authority taking the lead on a particular issue on behalf of all local authorities, has worked very well and has enabled us to discharge our duties more expeditiously than would otherwise be the case. We stress to petitioners that although different local authorities took the lead on each issue the generic agreements will be binding on all local authorities and on the Promoter.

175.  Where local authorities had individual outstanding issues to raise they appeared before this Committee and we detail some of their cases, and our decisions on those cases, below.

London Borough of Bexley

176.  The London Borough of Bexley appeared before the Committee to discuss extending the South Eastern limb of the route from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet.

177.  The Petitioner asked the Committee to express support for the extension of Crossrail to Ebbsfleet by either:

178.  We accept that neither option would require the extension to go ahead or commit any funds to it. We recognise the significant benefits that an extension to Ebbsfleet would bring and note that the route is already safeguarded and that consultation is underway to expand that safeguarding to provide for a four track railway between Slade Green and Dartford.

179.  However, we are not persuaded by the Petitioner's case. The extension from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet is not a project of national significance and there is no reason why it should be treated as such, with detriment to the rights of individual objectors, when, and if, an application is made under the Transport and Works Act 1993. Any such application should be subject to the normal procedures.

London Borough of Camden

180.  The London Borough of Camden appeared on Thursday 3 April as the lead authority on the issue of groundborne noise and vibration/track design. The Borough had reached agreement with the Promoters on the wording of the Information Paper D10 relating to this subject, but they had a statement that they read to the Committee.

181.  That statement outlined the basic point of dispute that remained between the two parties—the numerical standard that is to be applied in the case of residential properties affected by groundborne noise. The Promoter has put forward a design standard which permits levels of up to 40dBLAmax,S whereas the local authorities were looking for a standard not to exceed 35dBLAmax,S.

182.  In response to the Petitioner's statement the Promoters read a statement which made clear that they believe a design noise criterion of 40dBLAmax,S affords an appropriate level of protection to amenity within residential properties from noise from underground railways. The Promoter further stressed that, notwithstanding the continuing disagreement between themselves and the London Borough of Camden regarding the appropriate design noise criteria to adopt, the wording of Information Paper D10 had been agreed.

183.  We decided not to call evidence on this matter. We said we would print the two statements as an Appendix to our special report and so they are published here as Appendix 10.

London Borough of Havering

184.  The London Borough of Havering is the lead authority on the issue of noise from fixed installations. They appeared before the Committee on 23 April to make a statement outlining the agreement they had reached with Promoter regarding the wording of the 'Environmental Minimum Requirements—General Principles' paper and Information Paper D25. The former sets the general principles which will govern the Environmental Minimum Requirements which, together with the powers in the Act, and the Register of Undertakings and Assurances, will ensure that the impacts which have been assessed in the Environmental Statements are not exceeded.

185.  Information Paper D25 deals with noise from fixed installations, i.e. noise generated by new Crossrail related machinery and equipment, other than the rolling stock when it is in motion.

186.  The Promoter's general position on this issue is set out in paragraph 2.5 of the Information Paper. The paragraph reads: "The nominated undertaker will be required to design and construct fixed installations … so that, with additional allowances made for calculation uncertainty … the assessment at the worst-affected residential building … obtained by subtracting the existing background noise level (LA90,T)from the rating level LAr,Tr of the fixed installations in normal operation, is not more than +5dB, determined in accordance with BS 4142:1997".

187.  The local authorities' position is different, as they explained to us. The majority of supporting local authorities impose conditions on planning permissions which require the rating noise level to be 5dB below background noise level. In Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster the requirement is more stringent—10dB below background. However, amendments were made to the Information Paper that allowed the local authorities to reach agreement with the Promoter.

188.  As regards tunnel ventilation, draught relief and the operation of plant and equipment at deep-level stations, paragraph 2.7 of the Information Paper makes clear that, if, despite using reasonable means to reduce noise levels below the design criterion of 5dB over background, the overall noise rating level is expected to be above the collective local authorities' preferred standard of 5dB below background, Crossrail will be obliged to provide the authorities with certain information explaining the situation; the information in question is listed in bullet points in paragraph 2.7 of the Information Paper.

189.  As regards noise from surface railway and surface stations, paragraph 2.9 of the Information Paper states that the "nominated undertaker will … be required to employ best practicable means in designing and constructing the fixed installations associated with surface railway and surface stations … with the aim of reducing noise so that with additional allowances made for calculation uncertainty … the assessment at the worst-affected residential building … is not more than LA90,T-5". Where, despite best efforts, rating levels at the worst-affected residential building are expected to exceed LA90,T-5, the Information Paper makes clear that the nominated undertaker will be obliged to provide information to the relevant local authority on the calculated rating levels, details of the performance of the proposed noise mitigation measures, and a description of the limitations to any or further mitigation being practicable.

190.  Whilst the Petitioners remain disappointed that the Promoter has not committed to a minus 5dB rating across the board, they have accepted the wording of the Information Paper, recognising that it acknowledges their preferred position and places a requirement on the nominated undertaker positively to justify why the authorities' preferred criteria cannot be practicably met.

191.  The Promoter made a brief statement in front of us in which they thanked Havering for their commitment to the issue and their productive approach to negotiations. They also made clear that they do not accept that there is any scientific basis for accepting background minus 5dB as an appropriate threshold for the protection of amenity in the context of the Crossrail scheme. Furthermore they noted that the local authorities' policies provide background minus 5dB to each individual noise source, whereas the Promoter's approach of background plus 5dB applies (with the exception of public address systems and audible warning systems) to all fixed installation noise sources installed and operated in any location within the Crossrail development. The local authorities' approach is not cumulative and the Promoters noted that it would be possible for a number of individual noise sources, designed to meet background minus 5dB criteria, cumulatively to result in noise greater than background plus 5dB.

192.  Notwithstanding the difference of approach between Petitioners and Promoter we are pleased that agreement has been reached and consider that affected residents will be afforded suitable protection against any intrusive noise from fixed installations.

London Borough of Newham

193.  The London Borough of Newham petitioned the Committee to require the Promoters to provide step-free access at Maryland and Manor Park stations on the North-East limb of the Crossrail route.

194.  Newham argued that Crossrail, as a 'new railway', should achieve full accessibility and that the people of the borough would be unacceptably disadvantaged if provision for step free access was not made at Maryland and Manor Park Stations.

195.  The Committee were pleased to note, from the Promoter's submissions, that 93% of all journeys on Crossrail would be step free, and that all new Crossrail stations will be fully accessible to persons of reduced mobility[31].

196.  We are not persuaded by Newham's case. Crossrail is a new railway scheme that will operate, to some extent, on existing tracks and from existing stations. Furthermore, other Crossrail stations in the near vicinity of Maryland and Manor Park stations are fully accessible to persons of reduced mobility and are easily reached, from near most resident's homes, by alternative forms of public transport. For example, Stratford station will be only 600-850 metres from Maryland station and can easily be reached by buses which will deposit passengers directly outside the station.

197.  We recognise the importance of accessibility, but consider that, in the particular circumstances, providing step free access at Maryland and Manor Park stations, at an estimated cost of some £14 million, would not be a prudent use of funds. At the moment there appears to be no compromise solution to this problem.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

198.  The London Borough of Tower Hamlets appeared before the Committee on 4 March to explain the position they had reached with the Promoters over the gypsy and travellers' site at Eleanor Street (paras 2001-2025) and to make a statement in relation to the Bill in general (paras 2028-2064). The Council's statement covered undertakings on the employment of local people in the construction of Crossrail, stations at Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs, the shaft in Hanbury Street, the Stepping Stones City Farm, consultation and community liaison, as well as the Eleanor Street site.

199.  The Council had reached agreement with Crossrail on all matters set out in their petition and was satisfied that it had secured the relevant appropriate formal undertakings (para 2028).

Westminster City Council

200.  Westminster City Council appeared before the Committee to confirm that they had reached agreement with the Promoters on all matters.

201.  The Petitioner's Counsel also outlined the Council's position on an issue involving the Congestion Charging Zone, although they accepted that it was not a matter within the remit of Crossrail. At present, Eastbourne Terrace is the boundary street for the Congestion Charging Zone. It has been suggested that, given the works that are going to go on at Paddington, the boundary should be moved so that Eastbourne Terrace is no longer the boundary.

202.  The House of Commons Select Committee had asked the Promoter to "liaise with the Mayor of London and Transport for London to seek a sensible way forward on this matter with a view to the temporary or permanent alteration of the boundary of the Congestion Zone to accommodate a more friendly and sustainable use of the area". The Committee accepted "that any relocation of the boundary would be a matter for TfL" but stated that "we remain firmly of the view that this matter is within the influence of the Promoter. We look to Crossrail and TfL to make a sensible commitment to relocating the Congestion Zone boundary".

203.  The Petitioner, whilst accepting that this Committee could not approve any amendment of the Congestion Charging Zone boundary, asked us to support the contention that TfL be required fully to involve the City Council in carrying out the unfinished studies into the impact of any amendment to the boundary before they take any decision on amending that boundary.

204.  We recognise the Petitioner's request and endorse the Promoter's commitment to "continue to review and discuss the findings of the TfL study into the Congestion Charging Zone boundary with TfL, Westminster City Council and relevant stakeholders".

31   We further note that no new Crossrail stations will be constructed under thoroughfares Back

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