Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1120 - 1139)

  1120. Moving on from that a little bit, it might also be said: "Well, you are saving a bit of money at Manor Park over the original scheme, because you are not doing your platform extensions, couldn't that be used at Manor Park to provide PRM access?"
  (Mr Berryman) There is insufficient—as I have just explained the difference is between 12 million and about three-quarters of a million.

  1121. Even if it was sufficient, is that, in your view, the right way to go about this—to save a bit of money and then think "spend it there"?
  (Mr Berryman) As Dr Maynard said yesterday, this is public money that is involved here. Obviously, there is a finite amount that can be found for the project. It is really a question of: is the argument of making Manor Park accessible to wheelchair users sufficiently strong to justify that expenditure of public money? I think it has to be looked at in those terms.

  1122. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Could we revert to the picture of the station and the photograph of the platforms, please? I think it was 8. You have the freight line on the left and we have the two platforms and the bridge we are talking about. Is there any practicality, to avoid the lengthy closures you have talked about, in being able to use the freight line only as a through-platform during that platform in order to limit the period of closure, which sounds horrendous?
  (Mr Berryman) No, sir. The freight line would need to be closed at the same time as these two tracks, simply because the demolition of this would require things to oversail that—

  1123. My memory told me that it provided rather greater space than that. Okay.
  (Mr Berryman) It is quite narrow, my Lord.

  1124. MS LIEVEN: Can we move on to Maryland?

  1125. LORD JONES OF CHELTENHAM: Can I just ask a question on costs? You have raised costs. Is my maths right that to add step-free access to this station would cost 0.0075 per cent of the overall Crossrail budget?
  (Mr Berryman) I am sure your maths is correct, my Lord, but the point I am making is that the whole project is made up of things which cost 0.0075 per cent of the cost.

  1126. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Talking about public money, will the Access for All programme, in due course, come round to examine the non-existence of assistance here? If so, when do you think that is likely to be? If so, what would the likely cost then be?
  (Mr Berryman) If, as I said earlier, Access for All are using the same criteria as we are, in general terms, it would be a very long time before they got round to doing this.

  1127. But they will have to do it, will they not?
  (Mr Berryman) Not necessarily. They do not have a complete commitment to do it for every station. I think the current budget is £375 million for the next five years, and we would imagine that expenditure continuing for cycles after that.

  1128. BARONESS FOOKES: Dr Maynard made this point, did she not, yesterday?
  (Mr Berryman) She did, yes. I think it would be a very long time before this station gets done.

  1129. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: But it may get done.
  (Mr Berryman) It is possible. Of course, it will cost more but that will be in the money of the day.

  (Mr Berryman) But then everything is in the money of the day. So you can look at it in quite that way.

  1131. MS LIEVEN: Maryland, Mr Berryman. If we could put up exhibit 4, please, just to show us where Maryland is.[14] There was a bit of a debate yesterday about whether it is 600 metres, 700 metres or 850 metres. Do you want to comment on that?

  (Mr Berryman) Not really. It is not very far—I think that is the point we were making.

  1132. How relevant is the absolute distance if you focus on severely disabled people, for example?
  (Mr Berryman) It is not particularly relevant, because in the case of severely disabled people they would not get to the station under their own steam, as I think you put it yesterday; they would, inevitably, either use a bus or a dial-a-ride or, in cases where they use Motability or something similar, they would use their car and park in the disabled parking here. So the actual distance is not all that crucial. The point is, if you are on a bus going down here, it is about an extra two-and-a-half minutes to get to Stratford Station.

  1133. Can you give us a potted history of why we are stopping at Maryland?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, the original plan was not to stop at Maryland, and this was because of the guidance which we originally had from HMRI, which was that Crossrail would be treated as an entirely new railway and, therefore, full-length platforms needed to be provided at all stations. Subsequent discussion with them indicated that they would be prepared to treat the existing railways—that is this one and, also, the Great Western Railway—in the way that they would treat any other existing railway, and not as a new railway; just as a modification of an existing railway. That brought us the option of having selective door-opening. We did not want to stop there originally for two reasons: firstly, because extending the platforms would be very expensive, but, secondly, because the transport case for this is actually quite negative. All the passengers who are passing through Maryland (and that is the majority of them) will experience a two-minute or so longer journey because the train stops here. So stopping at Maryland never had a very good transport case—and still does not. The reason that we decided to accede to Newham's request was, first of all, we found out we did not need to do these very extensive works for platform extensions and, secondly, we did not want to be seen to be subverting the procedure for station closure, which I am sure members will be well-familiar with, which is a specific thing which would probably be inappropriate to be dealt with through this Bill. So we did not really want to stop there; we subsequently acceded to Newham's requests to introduce a stop there and we have negotiated with HMRI to the point that, subject to a satisfactory safety case being presented by the operator in due course (that is when the operator is appointed, of course), they have no objection to selective door opening. So that was why it was included at that point.

  1134. Can we then move on to exhibit 11?[15] If we were going to do PRM accessibility at Maryland (and, clearly, it is our case that we are not and we should not have to, but if we were going to), can you explain how it would work at Maryland?

  (Mr Berryman) Yes. In terms of the actual access from the station concourse to the platform, it is a bit easier here because there are two staircases (in this location here and that location there) which are disused and I think are bricked-up or blocked-off in some way, and we would simply use the space where those staircases were to put two lifts in. The problem here is actually getting from the street to the concourse level. There are about five or six steps from this point to the concourse, and the footway here is very narrow—and we will perhaps come back to that in a second. What we would have to do is demolish the taxi office, which sits here (I think it is a taxi office, from memory), and build a ramp to get people from footway level to the concourse. So the works here would cost in the order of £4.5 million, at outturn prices.

  1135. It might be worth putting up exhibit 6, please. It is not brilliant on the screen.[16]

  (Mr Berryman) This is the area where we would have to make the ramp from the platform up to the concourse—it would be through these two premises here. The point here is that this is an impenetrable fence, so people being dropped off at this station could not be dropped off very conveniently. Can we go back to the previous slide, please?

  1136. Do you mean 11, the plan?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes. The bus stops for this station are somewhat remote from the station itself. There are a couple of stops down here and there are a couple of stops up here, but to get from any of those stops to the station is a bit of a trek, compared to the very satisfactory interchange which exists at Stratford. So if someone was coming down this road on a bus, it makes no sense at all to get off here, negotiate these very busy roads—this is the A11, by the way, the Leytonstone Road—to get to the station. It would be far more sensible for a person, whether mobility impaired or not, to stay on the bus and go to Stratford. That is what we think most people will do, and that is why the passenger numbers from this station now are very low.

  1137. And in terms of getting to Maryland by means other than the bus for PRM, taxi or Dial-a-Ride, is it a good station for those kinds of drop-offs?
  (Mr Berryman) It is absolutely hopeless because there is a fence all the way along here. I cannot see how that could ever be moved because, as I say, this is the A11, it is a very busy road and the prospects of vehicles stopping there are very remote.

  1138. While we are on this topic, is there any disabled parking at Maryland?
  (Mr Berryman) There is none.

  1139. Moving on then, in terms of the number of people predicted to use Maryland, if we go back quickly to Exhibit 19, can you tell me how many people are predicted to use it in the peak three hours?[17]

  (Mr Berryman) About 2,000 in total. We would expect there to be about 1,500 borders and 500 alighters.

14   Crossrail Ref: P8, Maryland Station-Local bus services providingdirect links to Stratford Station (NEWMLB-53_04-004) Back

15   Crossrail Ref: P8, Maryland Station-Proposed details for the provision of PRM lifts (NEWMLB-53_04-011) Back

16   Crossrail Ref: P8, Maryland Station-View of station entrance (NEWMLB-53_04-006) Back

17   Crossrail Ref: P8, 2016 AM Peak 3 Hour Passenger Forecast (Excluding internal interchange movements (NEWMLB-53_04-019) Back

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