Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1440 - 1459)

  1440. You do not obviously express that view as somebody who has either expertise in or a particular experience of mobility restriction, though, do you?
  (Mr Berryman) My brother is a permanent wheelchair user, sir.

  1441. Tell me, have you accessed Stratford station with your brother?
  (Mr Berryman) No, I have not, he lives near Edinburgh, but I have taken him many places in his wheelchair and I have a good appreciation of the problems involved.

  1442. Do you come here as an expert on that basis?
  (Mr Berryman) No, I do not. I come here as a person who has some knowledge of it just by coincidence.

  1443. Can we look, next, at the ability of Maryland and Manor Park stations to be upgraded by other means? You do not take any different position from Dr Maynard in terms of it being unlikely that there would be other ways in which these stations would be upgraded, at least in the long term?
  (Mr Berryman) I think in the foreseeable future it is extremely unlikely they will be upgraded.

  1444. You, of course, have referred to the fact that Crossrail is likely, or is planned to be, 93 per cent step-free. Can we be clear that the DLR is 100 per cent step-free?
  (Mr Berryman) The DLR is 100 per cent step-free. I wonder if I could explain a bit what the 93 per cent means?

  1445. Yes.
  (Mr Berryman) The 93 per cent means that any person who is using the closest station geographically to their origin and going to the closest station geographically to their destination, using Crossrail services only, would have a step-free journey. That does not mean that only 93 per cent of passengers have a step-free journey; it relates to people going to their closest station. What it means is that 7 per cent of the people, if they needed a step-free access, would need to go not to the closest station but to an adjacent station.

  1446. But in terms of whether or not it is possible to achieve a 100 per cent step-free access on a new rail system, it is not, as Dr Maynard put it yesterday, an unprecedented situation, is it?
  (Mr Berryman) On a new railway system?

  1447. Yes.
  (Mr Berryman) In all new railway systems which are built the new elements are built step-free.

  1448. Let's go to new railways. On new railways, should they all be step-free?
  (Mr Berryman) A newly built railway should be step-free.

  1449. MR REED: Thank you very much. And, if Crossrail is to be regarded as a new railway, then on that basis it should be step-free?

  1450. CHAIRMAN: Mr Reed, this is just argument.
  (Mr Berryman) I do not think you could argue that this part of the railway is a new railway. It has been there since 1847.

  1451. MR REED: I am grateful to you, my Lord Chairman. Those are my questions, thank you.

  1452. CHAIRMAN: Ms Lieven?

  1453. MS LIEVEN: I have no re-examination, my Lord.

  1454. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Berryman. We none of us have any questions for you.

(The witness withdrew.)

  1455. It might be convenient to hear your closing submissions now, Ms Lieven?

  1456. MS LIEVEN: Yes, my Lord. What I did in the House of Commons at this stage was to make a relatively short closing. I cannot reduce it into writing because of the time period involved but I am conscious that the Committee has now spent two days hearing this Petition and is very familiar with the issues, so I do not intend to make the kind of comprehensive closing one might make in a court of law because I expect the Committee would not wish me to take up that amount of time.

  1457. CHAIRMAN: I think we might be grateful for that!

  1458. MS LIEVEN: Yes. Equally I put down that marker because if the Committee wants something more comprehensive from the Promoter pulling together strands then we can do that with a little bit more time.

  1459. I start by emphasising that the Crossrail approach to what I am going to call "PRM"s for short is very much a good news story, as Dr Maynard emphasised yesterday, and her words were: "It is an unbelievable improvement in the existing public transport network in London", and I do ask the Committee to bear that in mind. We are moving from a position where on the LUL network the aspiration for 2013 is only 18 per cent, very understandably only 18 per cent but it is that low, whereas on Crossrail it is 93 per cent, and that is an unbelievable improvement for the people in London who can access the Crossrail system. I do add at this point, just to pick up a point that has just been made, that the suggestion that on the Great Western and North Eastern limbs we are dealing with what should be classified as a new railway in my submission is ridiculous. You only have to go to any of these stations to see they are palpably not a new railway and are not designed as such. In the new part of Crossrail, which is the central section through the tunnels, it is 100 per cent step-free to the Crossrail platforms.

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