Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill First Special Report


The Committee asked two questions:—

1. Whether other comparable large-scale rail schemes have provided 100% compensation (i.e. not just compensation for disruption resulting from network changes or disruption lasting beyond a six month period 6) for other users of the railway affected by construction works. The petitioners referred to provisions in the TWA Order for the East London line. Are such provisions now commonplace in comparable legislation?

1.1 Schedule 11 of the East London Line Extension (No. 2) Order 2001 (EWS exhibit 33) is a reasonably standard protective provision for the benefit of Network Rail (Railtrack before it) where it does not itself undertake works affecting its railway. ELL and the Docklands Light Railway are examples and similar provisions are included in orders authorising tram schemes affecting the rail network. The protective provision's purpose is to ensure that Network Rail can recoup the cost of compensation to affected operators from the body undertaking the works in a case where Competent Authority Change (G9 of the Network Code) might be invoked, or it might be argued that possessions required for the works were competent authority possessions for the purpose of Schedule 4 to the track access agreements. A protective provision such as contained in the ELL No 2 Order also has the result described by EWS: compensation is payable for non-Network Change disruption of less than 6 months duration.

1.2 Since this is a protective provision for Network Rail, it follows that this does not apply to any of its own works, large or small, and whether for maintenance, renewal or upgrading. For example the provision does not apply to the West Coast Main Line upgrading works which are greater in scale than the on-network works contained in the Crossrail Bill.

1.3 The intention is that Network Rail will undertake the on-network works contained in the Crossrail Bill. Many of these works have a general benefit such as electrification and the six works on which EWS has sought undertakings. These works will be designed in detail by Network Rail and the possessions and non-Network Change disruption planning will also be Network Rail's responsibility. Network Rail will also be paying for these works and recouping the cost through access charges.

1.4 No protective provisions for Network Rail have been included in the Crossrail Bill. However there is a Protective Provisions Agreement between Network Rail and the Secretary of State. Under this Network Rail's interests are secured primarily by having the right to undertake on network works, rather than adopting the approach used projects such as the DLR and ELL for which it is not undertaking works.

2. If the Committee decided that rail users should be afforded 100% compensation in relation to Crossrail construction works, as requested by the Petitioners, what costs would this add to the project? It is understood that it will be very difficult to give figures for this but the Committee would appreciate an estimate.

2.1 It is impossible to say what might be the additional cost of providing 100% compensation. This is because the detailed design of the works has yet to be undertaken by Network Rail and until this has been done there is no basis for an assessment of different types of disruption in relation to compensation.

2.2 The expectation is that for any major project such as Crossrail, most disruption would attract compensation because most of the works would constitute Network Change, either because of the nature of the changes to the network, or because of the aggregation of minor changes so as to exceed the 6 month minimum qualifying period for compensation.

2.3 Network Rail will treat the Crossrail works as it would any of the other works it has to undertake in determining what compensation is applicable under normal industry practice.

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008