Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1040 - 1059)

  1040. MS LIEVEN: If there is a little moving around at some stage, that is why and we will deal with it comprehensively once we have got the note.

MR KEITH BERRYMAN, sworn Examined by MS LIEVEN

  1041. MS LIEVEN: Mr Berryman, although you have met some members of the Committee, this is the first time you have given evidence, so I think it is appropriate to introduce you to the Committee. Can you start by explaining what your position with Crossrail is, please?

  (Mr Berryman) I am the Managing Director of CLRL which is the joint-venture company which has been set up between Transport for London and initially the SRA, but subsequently the Department for Transport, to bring forward the work on the Crossrail project. I have particular responsibility for dealing with matters relating to the Bill.

  1042. Now, in terms of your experience, I think you have been a civil engineer for something like 40 years. Is that right?
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct, yes.

  1043. And you have mainly worked in the planning, design, construction and financing of transport infrastructure?
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct.

  1044. You are a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and you are a member of their council. Is that right?
  (Mr Berryman) That is also correct.

  1045. You are also a Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers?
  (Mr Berryman) Correct.

  1046. I think that you were previously a Director of the Strategic Rail Authority. Is that right?
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct.

  1047. In terms of specific experience on roughly comparable projects in the UK, can you just explain what your role was on the Beckton extension of the Docklands Light Railway?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, it would be nice to think that the Beckton extension was comparable to this, but certainly it is an important railway scheme. I was the Project Manager responsible for all aspects of the design and construction of that.

  1048. I think the final thing that is relevant for the Committee to know: when did you first become involved in the Crossrail project?
  (Mr Berryman) In 2000.

  1049. What were you doing?
  (Mr Berryman) I initially did some work with the SRA on a thing called the `London East-West Study' to look at ways of dealing with some of the congestion on the existing Underground system in London.

  1050. Can we move on then to your evidence on this particular Petition and perhaps we can put up Exhibit 1 to start with.[7] Can you just talk us through which stations in Newham will, and will not, be step-free? The way Newham have put the case is that they are being particularly hard-done-by because they have got two non-accessible stations. Do you just want to explain the background to that?

  (Mr Berryman) Yes, the stations which will be accessible in Newham will be Stratford, Forest Gate and Custom House. I think this was explained yesterday in evidence by the Petitioner. Maryland and Manor Park will not have step-free access. The other station on the east side of London which will not have step-free access is Seven Kings which is in the next borough. The reason for that is because these stations are particularly close together by comparison with the other stations on the Crossrail network and they are also very difficult to actually modify. In fact all of the stations down here are in deep cuttings with brick walls at the side, difficult to widen. This railway is due to Braithwaite, the engineer, in the 1840s who was famous for being very economical when he constructed the railway and the railway is built to a very tight boundary. Interestingly, on the other side of London it was built by Brunel who was famous for being bad for the shareholders because he always made everything so elaborate, and of course we have more room there. The main reason is the closeness together and the difficulty of construction of the works that will be required.

  1051. Now, in general terms, before we come to the specifics of the two stations, do you just want to take us through what factors are taken into account by the project in deciding whether to provide step-free access or not?
  (Mr Berryman) I think the first thing that we look at is the number of passengers and, in assessing the number of passengers, we take into account the surrounding population in what appears to be the natural catchment of the station, the levels of car ownership, the highway congestion in the area, job location and crucially the public transport network which feeds into the station and surrounds the station, and we have got very sophisticated models which actually identify what the traffic is likely to be as a result of those factors.

  1052. Just while we are looking at this and picking up on something you have just said, one of the issues that Newham raised yesterday was that there are particularly high levels of depravation in Newham and that has not been taken account of. You said that one of the things you did take account of was levels of car ownership. Can you just explain what, if anything, that tells us about depravation?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, car ownership tends to be lower in areas where depravation is higher. That is not a universal rule, but it is a very good approximation in these parts of London. It is either very low incomes or very high incomes in the areas where car ownership is lower. For example, when I am talking about high incomes, I am thinking of places like Mayfair where the level of car users is lower than in some of the outer parts of London, so there is not a direct correlation, but it is a good surrogate for the levels of depravation, particularly in the outer parts of London.

  1053. CHAIRMAN: On that slide, we would not be too worried about interchange movements at Maryland or Manor Park, would we?
  (Mr Berryman) No, there would not be any significant interchange movements there. I ought just to mention Chadwell Heath, by the way, which looks a bit odd here, it is a bit of an outlier on the thing, but actually Chadwell Heath is being provided with step-free access by others as part of the Access for All programme, so, although it is not included in our works, it is being done by others.

  1054. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: On the last point, could you just say a little bit more about that, that there are other parties coming in there and providing assistance?
  (Mr Berryman) There is a programme being operated by Network Rail called `Access for All' which is working its way through the national network and it is using a similar set of criteria to those which we use, the total number of passengers at a station compared with the difficulty of doing it. At some stations it is very, very difficult indeed to get lifts in, and we are really talking about lifts here, it is very, very difficult to get lifts in, so what they try to do is to get the ratio between the number of passengers as a surrogate for the potential beneficiaries and the cost of putting the lifts in and then they have ranked all the stations, as far as I know, in the UK on that basis and they are working their way down the list putting lifts in.

  1055. So they thought this qualified, but you did not?
  (Mr Berryman) No, we always thought it qualified, but we knew that somebody else was going to do it.

  1056. MS LIEVEN: The Access for All programme, I think, was referred to yesterday. It is funded by the Department for Transport and it is the £365 million that Dr Maynard referred to yesterday, is it not?
  (Mr Berryman) I think one of these down here (indicating) is going to be done by the Olympics because it gives access to the Olympic rowing venue.

  1057. Yes, I think it is Taplow, is it not?
  (Mr Berryman) I think it is Taplow, yes, which would not fit our criteria because the usage is so low, but specifically for the Paralympic Games it will be done by the Olympic Authority.

  1058. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: We have not heard, I think, at any point so far, and I am a little surprised not to have heard, whether there is any implication of a station having a finite capacity to handle any number of impaired people at any one time, so, if you start to try to achieve a concentration, but are using an adjacent station to compensate for the lack of stairs with the excess of stairs in one, do you reach a saturation point where you have rendered the other station unusable?
  (Mr Berryman) No, not at the figures that we are talking about.

  1059. Can you give us some indication of what would represent saturation for the number of handicapped people using a station at any one time because this would surely be a factor in the rush hour?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, it would be a factor in the rush hour, but it is more a problem of capacity on the trains than on the platforms because on each train there would be two or three, probably two, wheelchair spaces normally and that is likely to be much more of a limiting factor.



7   Crossrail Ref: P8, Crossrail Line 1-Diagram 2-step-free access to Crossrail stopping platforms (NEWMLB-53_04-001) Back


 
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