Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1060 - 1079)

  1060. That would raise another issue which I had not thought of and that is that you would then have the issue that the station which came earliest would have an unfair priority over the stations which came later in the take-up of the available space.
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, that would be true. However, the number of wheelchair-users that we anticipate is actually quite low.

  1061. The whole point of my concern here is to work out whether we are talking about an issue which is impractical because of other issues and whether it has to find a solution within its own terms or whether it has to look for a solution in a wider context.

   (Mr Berryman) I think the matter you have raised would not be a limiting factor.

  1062. Bear it in mind if we come to any other points on it and try and guide us through, then, please.
  (Mr Berryman) I certainly will.

  1063. MS LIEVEN: Can we come back to that, my Lords, because when we have this note we will talk about the percentage of PRMs that we believe to be likely, and I will ask Mr Berryman to talk about lift capacity and how much spare capacity there is in the lifts. It probably is more really an issue for the central stations where there are far larger numbers of people but we will come back to that, if we may, my Lord.
  (Mr Berryman) I was just getting on to costs. Of all these stations the most difficult ones to fit lifts, the most expensive ones, are actually Manor Park and Forest Gate. Each of those would cost about £12 million in outturn prices to fit this kind of kit in, and this is significantly higher than any of the other stations where we are not doing significant works. Stations like Abbey Wood we are completely rebuilding anyway, so lifts will be put in there. We need to rebuild the station to accommodate the trains that would use it but of the stations we are not rebuilding, Forest Gate and Manor Park, which are adjacent, as it happens, would both be expensive at about £12 million each, and you can see that Forest Gate has quite significantly more passengers than Manor Park and we would expect that that would also reflect through into the proportion of people who needed PRM access. Four stations are very close together, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Maryland and Stratford, and so when we looked at which of the more expensive stations should be chosen to go through the links with other stations were important, as we will see later on. Manor Park has quite good links with the Stratford station by means other than railway.

  1064. Shall we move on, then, to look specifically at Manor Park, exhibit 12, Mr Berryman, and can you just take us through what we were originally proposing at Manor Park, what we are proposing now, and why we have changed?[8]

  (Mr Berryman) Yes. The original proposal was that this loop line which runs around the back of the station would be closed, or, in fact, shortened, by another connection being put in, and that the platforms would be extended through the position of the existing loop line and widened at the western end of the platform. The reason for that was that earlier we had been under the impression that because this is a new railway the selective door opening would not be allowed and we would have to extend all the platforms to be long enough for ten cars. As a result of the work we did with Newham Borough on Maryland we established with the Railway Inspectorate that they would not treat these stations as new but as existing stations, and therefore selective door opening, subject to the safety case of course, would be permitted. What that meant was we did not need to close this loop, and you will be hearing later from railway petitioners who are very anxious we do not take away any existing infrastructure, and we have had confirmation from Network Rail overnight that they would be extremely anxious not to lose this loop, and therefore as we now have approval in principle to use selective door opening we do not need to extend the platforms here, so we will not be closing this loop and not be extending these platforms. There were no other works planned for this station other than those platform extensions.

  1065. Can we then move on? If we were going to propose step-free access at Manor Park, can you explain how it would have to be done and the difficulties that would be involved, and I do not know whether it is better to use this exhibit or exhibit 10.
  (Mr Berryman) Let's put exhibit 8 up, please.[9] This is a photograph of the station as it now is and these are the two lines which will be used by Crossrail and this line behind is the freight loop. Now, the idea of putting in PRM is quite difficult because the platform is very narrow at the end. You can see at the back of the platform there is a wall so the loop line runs behind a wall on the back face of the platform and the platform is so narrow, the staircase comes down and occupies almost the whole width of the platform and there is no room to get wheelchair access between the edge of the platform and that stair tower, so you would have to rebuild the whole area bringing a lift down somewhere, but it would be extremely difficult to do without demolishing the whole of the bridge and rebuilding it in total.

  1066. Just to give a further impression of that, can we put up the next photograph, photograph 9, looking the other way?[10]

  (Mr Berryman) This is the same view looking the other way. The walkway comes down, the station building you can see, and there is a long walkway at high level across and down to platform 1. You would have a similar problem on this platform (platform 2) as well although possibly not quite so intractable, where you would have to find room to bring a lift down behind that staircase and find a way of fitting the lift and the staircase in what is still a relatively narrow platform.

  1067. How much of that existing structure, walkway from the ticket hall, would have to be demolished?
  (Mr Berryman) This would have to be completely demolished if we were to put that kind of facility in and rebuilt in the new style.

  1068. Just looking at the effects of that demolition, first, what impact would those construction works have on existing users of the station?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, the station would need to be closed while this was done, and I think this is part of the cost equation. We obviously have a monetary cost but there is a cost in terms of disruption to passengers using this station and also disruption to train services through the station, because we would need to do some of this work in possession, long weekend possessions probably, which would be, I would imagine, five or six long weekend possessions of these tracks and possibly one long weekend's possession of all four tracks.

  1069. How long would you expect the station would be likely to be closed if this work was to be done?
  (Mr Berryman) Probably about three or four months.

  1070. What is your assessment of the likely costs of providing PRM accessibility at Manor Park?
  (Mr Berryman) It might be worth saying a few words about cost now because I am sure cost will come up during these proceedings many times. Our actual cost base on which our estimating is done obviously has to be kept at a common base, and that is at Q1 2002 prices, but obviously when we build it it is no good offering the contractors some 2002 pounds because they will not be very much use to them. What we have worked out is what the total outturn cost will be and the figure which is quoted by ministers in evidence for the outturn cost, which is the figure we have calculated, is £16 billion. On the same basis that that £16 billion is calculated, in other words outturn costs, this modification will cost about £12 million.

  1071. BARONESS FOOKES: That is on building costs only as opposed to the loss of revenue that comes from disruption to passengers? The £12 million is purely the building without taking into account extra costs, as it were, incurred because the station cannot be used for three or four months?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, that is correct, although we would expect that most passengers would divert to adjacent stations. As we keep saying, these stations are very close together.

  1072. MS LIEVEN: So additional to the £12 million do we have the cost of any compensatory payment to the train operating company? Is compensation payable for the possessions as well?
  (Mr Berryman) Compensation is payable for the possessions. I think we are in discussion with Network Rail at the present time as to how that will be calculated. There are things called Rules of the Route which allow you a certain number of possessions every year on each route, and we would be obviously attempting to use as many possible rules of the route possessions as we could, but in reality there would be some long weekends needed which fall outside that. That is another issue which will come up a lot in the future, possessions, how they are used and planned, and when two pieces of work can be done with one possession obviously that is a very important thing to do, but we are not at the point yet where we are in the sufficient detail of the planning to know how that could be done. Clearly if we were doing work at, say, Stratford, the same weekend we could be doing work here and making use of the same possession.

  1073. LORD BROOKE OF ALVETHORPE: Could I just ask a question, please, on £12 million? How much of that is the cost for the lift itself? Is it a standard lift that you now apply to each station or are there variations on the theme between expensive lifts, gold-plated ones, and very small lifts that would probably only take one or two people --
  (Mr Berryman) There are no gold-plated lifts -- I hope there is nothing gold-plated anywhere on the railway but certainly no gold-plated lifts. The kind of lifts used depends on the layout of the building you are serving. For example, do you have the door at one side or the kind of lift where you go in on one side and come out the other? I am sure you are familiar with that kind of structure you get sometimes. There are also issues with lifts and the power supply to the lift, how easy it is to get power supply, and foundations required for the lift tower, so there is not really a standard answer to the question. It depends very much on the circumstances.

  1074. What proportion of the £12 million would be spent on the lift itself?
  (Mr Berryman) Off the top of my head it would probably be under half a million on each lift, so a million on the two lifts, on the actual lift mechanism and car and so on.

  1075. CHAIRMAN: Half a million per lift?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes.

  1076. BARONESS FOOKES: Would it be two lifts?
  (Mr Berryman) Two, yes. Can I just say that these lifts are relatively low rise, so the figure for lifts in the central stations which are high rise lifts would be different.

  1077. LORD JONES OF CHELTENHAM: Can I take you back a step? You said that if you did have to produce step-free access here you could do it at the same time as you were upgrading, say, Stratford.
  (Mr Berryman) That is not quite what I said, my Lord. What I said was that during the possession work you may be able to overlap possessions and use the same possession for two bits of work and that really related only to the actual interruption of the line rather than rest of the works.

  1078. You said it might take six weekends to do this work. How many weekends have you planned to take the line for upgrading the other stations?
  (Mr Berryman) We do not have detailed plans for that just now.

  1079. But there will be some?
  (Mr Berryman) It will be a significant number. The main works on the Great Eastern are at Stratford, making the connection between the existing lines and the new ones, where we will probably need one very long weekend which will be Christmas or an Easter break. On the Great Eastern side there are not too many possessions required because the works here, as we will see later when we get on to the Great Western, are much more modest than they are on the Great Western, simply because we plan to take over the railway more or less as is and just use it for a very similar train service to that which runs now.

8   Crossrail Ref: P8, Manor Park Station-Extent of demolition (NEWMLB-53_04-012) Back

9   Crossrail Ref: P8, Manor Park Station-Platform level facing west (NEWMLB-53_04-008) Back

10   Crossrail Ref: P8, Manor Park Station-Platform level facing east (NEWMLB-53_04-009) Back

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