Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1160 - 1179)

  1160. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: A football crowd can easily become terrorists in their own way.
  (Mr Berryman) They can be more frightening than terrorists in some ways.

  1161. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: I would be very cautious on this. I think there might be a need for further thought on the safety implications for those who are naturally and innocently using it in a wheelchair during those hours. I think you might need to think of some special protection to be provided.
  (Mr Berryman) I think the other thing to just mention is I get off the train at Luton, and Luton Town were playing last night and the visiting side supporters were arriving by train and there was a very large police presence there, and that is the way it is usually dealt with.

  1162. MS LIEVEN: Very briefly the next point that came up yesterday—Romford—

  1163. CHAIRMAN: Before we go to that, how do people get to the Leyton Orient ground?
  (Mr Berryman) Probably some of them would use Stratford I would imagine. Many of them would use the Central Line which goes up here roughly in this orientation here (indicating) and there are two stations, one at Leyton and one at Leytonstone which are relatively close to the ground.

  1164. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Leyton is the main concentration?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, that is right.

  1165. MS LIEVEN: Romford, Mr Berryman, was raised briefly yesterday in respect to the Select Committee in the House of Commons report. Very quickly can you explain what the differences are between the situation at Romford and what is being proposed at Manor Park and Maryland.
  (Mr Berryman) The situation at Romford is that there is a bus station immediately to the south of the existing station and our new station will be positioned underneath the existing station. Unfortunately, on the south side of that railway, the Romford Station, is the original Braithwaite structure which was built in 1846, I think. That is virtually solid brickwork and we could not actually get in there. The local authority initially wanted us to make an entrance through there and they came to the Commons with that in view as their Petition. By looking at it again and looking with their advisers, we were able to come up with an arrangement which satisfied their concerns without actually doing what they had originally asked for in their Petition. There was never any question of not having PRM access at Romford, which is a very busy station in a town centre.

  1166. MS LIEVEN: The final point which just arose yesterday, and I do not know, my Lords, whether you want me to deal with this now is in Newham's Petition there was an issue about putting a cut-and-cover tunnel at North Woolwich, and my Lady, Baroness Fookes referred to it.

  1167. CHAIRMAN: I thought Mr Reed said that he had abandoned that.

  1168. MS LIEVEN: He did and so long as the Committee are happy that it is abandoned and they do not need to know any more about it, we can leave it there.

  1169. CHAIRMAN: Yes, we are happy that it has been abandoned.

  1170. MS LIEVEN: Those are all my questions to Mr Berryman. I do have a copy of the note although one statistic in it is being checked outside. I do not know whether the Committee would be prepared to break slightly early for the coffee break and then when we come back I could have five minutes to go through the note with Mr Berryman before handing him over for cross-examination.

  1171. CHAIRMAN: We have got a serious logistical problem about that. Coffee is not going to be there until 11.40 today whereas normally it would be there at 11.30, and so I think we are going to have to fill in a bit more time.

  1172. MS LIEVEN: In that case, Mr Mould has gone out to retrieve the note and I hope your Lordships will bear in mind that various members of the team have worked very hard on this overnight and if there is one figure we have to do a bit of running around on, that may be necessary, but I am reliant on Mr Mould coming back with the note.

  1173. CHAIRMAN: We have got to wait for the coffee anyway so we will wait for Mr Mould.

  1174. MS LIEVEN: Perhaps, my Lords, what we could do is put up the front page of the note which really deals with the critical point for present purposes, and the figure in debate is on the second page.[24] Probably the best thing is for me to take the Committee through it and then Mr Berryman may want to comment. The critical point that we are trying to get across in this note is that the question of how many passengers with restricted mobility will use the station is very, very far from being a straightforward one.

  1175. The point at 1.2 is one that Mr Berryman has already made to you, which is that you can really split people with restricted mobility, which is a term without definition, into two broad categories—physically impaired passengers, whether they be in wheelchairs or they just find it very difficult physically to get round steps, and then what is called in the trade "incumbent" passengers, and that can cover your person with a suitcase, your parent or carer with a buggy, or anybody else who has got temporary physical encumbrances which make it very useful for them to have step-free access.

  1176. We go on to say in 1.3 that neither group has a clear definition so the proportion of disabled people, say, in the catchment area of Maryland gives no indication of how many of them will actually travel. If one relates back to the figures Mr Reed put up earlier about Disability Living Allowance (DLA), there will be a high proportion of those people who will not travel in any event whatever provision you make for them.

  1177. Then we say in 1.2 that the total usage will depend on a series of factors such as number of population obviously, car ownership, highway congestion, job location and, crucially, public transport, so models have been developed to help predict the number of people who will use a new provision, equally to predict the number of PRMs who will use it.

  1178. So what we say in 1.4, which is particularly important in the light of Lord Brooke's questions yesterday, is that the only way to address the issue of the number of passengers with restricted mobility is by considering the proportion of total demand forecast by the model. It does not help to consider how many people in a particular ward receive a particular kind of disability benefit because you do not know how many of them will travel and you do not know which stations they will use, so the station catchment plot to demonstrate this point because the station you use depends on where in the ward you live and what bus route you are on. You might live in Maryland ward but never use Maryland Station because you are closer to Stratford. It is just not a useful way of doing it.

  1179. What we come to at 1.6 is no universally agreed figure for the proportion of passengers with restricted mobility and data is extremely hard to come by. Then at 1.7 we make the point that some passengers with restricted mobility use the system anyway, however inaccessible it is, so people with prams do battle onto London Underground regularly, but for those people there will be a great benefit in being able to battle more easily, in this case, onto Crossrail. Thus there are two categories: the people who benefit because their journeys are made much easier and the people who benefit because they are not travelling at all at the moment, and it is important to keep both of those in mind.

24   Crossrail Ref P12, Passengers with Restricted Mobility, 26 February 2008 (SCN-20080227-008 to -012) Back

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