Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4680 - 4699)

  4680. MR HORTON: I can only show you what the Chairman appears, from the transcript, to have considered to be the extent of the Commons' Committee's powers.

  4681. CHAIRMAN: Of course this is all clouded by these criticisms of Mr Berryman, is it not? I do not say that that is necessarily the case, but it is unfortunately an undercurrent, is it not?

  4682. MR HORTON: It is too much of an important judgment to be affected by that, my Lord.

  4683. CHAIRMAN: Well now, what are you asking us to do?

  4684. MR HORTON: I am asking you to hear, and it will only be brief, from Mr Schabas.

  4685. CHAIRMAN: Why?

  4686. MR HORTON: So that he can explain to you whether, when looked at, and I am sorry to repeat the phrase, objectively, Route B is a route which warranted classifying as a main alternative rather than being dismissed out of hand, which is what happened, in order to assist you in advising the House as to whether or not, in the context of the environmental assessment argument, it is necessary for further consideration to be given to it.

  4687. CHAIRMAN: How long is it he going to take?

  4688. MR HORTON: Half an hour.

  4689. CHAIRMAN: Is he going to attack Mr Berryman?

  4690. MR HORTON: No.

  4691. CHAIRMAN: I will keep you to the half-hour.

  4692. MR HORTON: Thank you, my Lord. I am most obliged.

  4693. CHAIRMAN: I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that it is 12 o'clock.


  4694. MR HORTON: I can introduce you, Mr Schabas, and it will save time ----

  4695. CHAIRMAN: I think we are fairly familiar with his background and qualifications.

  4696. MR HORTON: I thought you would be. Can I just refer you to Day 24 where it is all set out in the transcript when he gave evidence for the Mayfair Residents' Association.

  4697. CHAIRMAN: I think that is the bit that we have read avidly which is where he was shut up because he attacked Mr Berryman.

  4698. MR HORTON: So I will not take more time introducing him, if that is acceptable. Mr Schabas, in relation to the alignment proposed through the Spitalfields area, since when have you given it any consideration?
  (Mr Schabas) I think the Spitalfields Association first approached me about two years ago and showed me the plans as they emerged, as they basically teased them out of Cross London Rail Links, so obviously the latest one is fairly recent to study it, the B alternative.

  4699. How experienced are you in making judgments in relation to railway schemes at the stage when a route is being selected about whether alternatives should be considered?
  (Mr Schabas) I guess that depends on how hard you are trying. In the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, my job was to make sure that we teased out anything that might be thought of as a main alternative, so at every point along the route it was easy to draw one route from A to B at each segment along the route, but often we said, "Well, what if we went around the other side of the village? What if we went in a tunnel here? What if we went around the trees and the woods?" Usually, we went to public consultation with two or three alternatives for each section of the route and often we would go to public consultation and say, "We can go down this street or we can go around the back here, this way, and these are the impacts of it", and we would have a table and we would list—

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