Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4400 - 4419)

  4400. CHAIRMAN: The first one?

  4401. MR ELVIN: My Lord, I respectfully suggest that this is simply an attempt to get in the material on an alternative alignment because yesterday you were told that the EIA question was a pure point of law, and I have already circulated submissions to the Committee which I propose to make this morning which deal with it on the basis of a pure point of law. You do not need to hear evidence today as to what was considered in March 2001 to determine whether or not that was a main alternative as part of the EIA process which commenced in 2005.

  4402. CHAIRMAN: It is all in the papers.

  4403. MR ELVIN: Yes, it is all in the papers. This is no more than an attempt to get in evidence on alternative alignments. Let me remind the Committee that Mr Schabas attempted to do precisely the same thing before the Commons Committee and to run a case based on an alternative alignment and the Committee refused to hear him.

  4404. CHAIRMAN: Mr Elvin, I have read all of this. Mr Horton?

  4405. MR HORTON: May I respond to Mr Elvin?

  4406. CHAIRMAN: Yes.

  4407. MR HORTON: With great respect, the way he puts it is not correct. Yesterday, unless I misunderstood the Committee, and obviously if I did I must be told and I will apologise, but yesterday, as I understood it, your Lordship himself intervened in the course of my submission to suggest that, if I wanted to pursue the argument of law, which is the one I want to pursue, in relation to the EIA and to persuade you that you must grapple with the point of whether, when properly construed, the Directive requires an objective test of whether something should have been considered as a main alternative because it is conceded that it was not considered as a main alternative, then the Committee does need at least some evidence. It is not, and we do not have the resources to do it, a detailed assessment of Route B; it is evidence designed simply to assist the Committee in making that judgment as to whether objectively it should have been considered as a main alternative.

  4408. CHAIRMAN: I do not think we need any evidence about this, but I hope Mr Schabas would not be repeating vitriolic remarks about Mr Berryman.

  4409. MR HORTON: Well, my Lord, with great respect, I want it on the transcript that that is a quite unfair way of putting it.

  4410. CHAIRMAN: All right, so he is not going to criticise Mr Berryman?

  4411. MR HORTON: It was not a criticism last time. Mr Berryman ----

  4412. CHAIRMAN: No, as long as he is not going to take on Mr Berryman about his competence.

  4413. MR HORTON: I am sorry, I had a different point in mind, so I know nothing of that.

  4414. CHAIRMAN: Well, that is what was raised in the Commons.

  4415. MR HORTON: Well, I am aware that in the Commons Mr Schabas referred to a conversation he had with Mr Berryman.

  4416. CHAIRMAN: Yes, he did.

  4417. MR HORTON: I have asked Mr Schabas about that. Mr Schabas is a professional man, a graduate of a very distinguished American university, a very distinguished transport planner, and he assures me that he accurately conveyed to the Commons the conversation he had in the presence of Mr Berryman.

  4418. CHAIRMAN: Well, that is one thing. Is Mr Schabas going to come along and say to us that Route B ought to be chosen?

  4419. MR HORTON: No.

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