Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4800 - 4819)

  4800. CHAIRMAN: I have no idea. Mr Elvin, you were going to call Mr Berryman.

  4801. MR ELVIN: Yes. There are two matters scheduled for this afternoon, if that is convenient, to call Mr Berryman to deal with some of the general issues, and then Mr Mould is going to close on the settlement issues he said he would deal with yesterday.

  4802. CHAIRMAN: That would be very helpful.

MR KEITH BERRYMAN, recalled Further examined by MR ELVIN

  4803. Mr Berryman, I am very grateful that you have left your sick bed to come and keep matters on timetable. Mr Berryman, of course, is familiar to the Committee. Mr Berryman, I want to deal with the following issues with you. I want to discuss with you the case for the Whitechapel Station just so that it is on the record. Secondly, I would like to look at lorry routing with you and control of lorries; thirdly, control of construction works, particularly in the Hanbury Street area; and, fourthly, the reason for the Hanbury Street shaft and where any possible review might lead. Perhaps we can start, and it may be appropriate to ask the Committee to go and look at the model with Mr Berryman at some point during this time. Mr Berryman, tell us the general reason why Whitechapel is an important component of the Crossrail route.

  (Mr Berryman) The primary benefit of the Whitechapel Station in the context of the overall transport system for London is that it provides a very important strategic interchange. It allows for interchange with the East London line, and I think we have a slide of that at 33, which is currently under construction from north London down to Croydon and will be an important route in the network when it is complete.[15] It also provides a link—and there is a picture of the line of the East London line and we cross here (indicating) at Whitechapel, and the idea is to have an interchange with that line. You can see from this plan that stage one is coloured in yellow. It collects from a very large part of south London and if stage two is built it will be an even more effective collector. The Whitechapel Station provides a very important interchange with that route. In addition, if you could put 34 up.[16] It provides an important connection with the District line which is here (indicating), and with the Hammersmith and City Line, which runs round here (indicating), so it provides links for passengers coming from the eastern side to get to destinations in the northern part of central London and in the southern part of central London, so it has a very important function as a connection point. We would expect that about two-thirds of the passengers who have used Whitechapel Station would not ever come out of the front door. They would just go from one railway line to another. In addition, it provides significant regeneration benefits for the area. Obviously, as the members of the Committee have visited the area, they will be aware that it is an area in need of some regeneration, and it is expected that this railway would provide a significant impetus towards that regeneration. Finally, although not by any means less important, it will improve the accessibility in the area. Accessibility really takes two forms. We have said a lot already about accessibility for PRMs (persons of restricted mobility) and members of the Committee will have seen on their visit that there is not any at the moment. When this station is rebuilt there will be significant improvement in that. It is also accessibility in the sense that it provides accessibility for people living in the area to other parts of London which would currently be difficult to reach. The PRM issue is quite significant due to the presence of the Royal London Hospital which is across the road and which, as you will be aware, is undergoing a major expansion and redevelopment, and certainly that is an important factor to be taken into account.

  4804. Could we look briefly at the predicted passenger flows, please, which is exhibit 39?[17] There we have the sorts of passenger flows which are predicted for 2016.

  (Mr Berryman) That is correct, and there is an interesting point on here. The way that this works is that it shows how many people from the District Line, 2,900, will be going out through the station entrance and so on, and how many people from Crossrail will be going to the District Line, 4,800.

  4805. CHAIRMAN: There will not be many in 2016, will there?
  (Mr Berryman) There will not be any in 2016, my Lord. This chart was prepared when 2016 was the opening date. I think this should really be read as "On opening" rather than "at 2016". One note of interest is that 1,200 people will be coming in on Crossrail and going out on Crossrail. They are basically people who are coming from the Shenfield branch and crossing over the platform to go down to Canary Wharf, and so there is a significant number of people who do that. The total number of passengers, 35,300, means that there are three stations on the route which are less busy than Whitechapel. Whitechapel is about the mid range of all the stations on the route.

  4806. MR ELVIN: How does the use of Crossrail flows compare, for example, with the proposed station at Woolwich or at Bond Street?
  (Mr Berryman) It is higher than both of those, significantly higher, in fact.

  4807. In terms of the connections, would it help just to go to the model, Mr Berryman?
  (Mr Berryman) It would, Mr Elvin. I have been dying to show their Lordships this model. It has been sitting here all week. Tomorrow morning the Duke of Kent is paying a visit to our offices and our Chairman is very anxious that the model should go back to be explained to him, so I would be very grateful if your Lordships could have a look at it.

  4808. CHAIRMAN: Of course it can go, yes. Doubtless we will still be here next week.
  (Mr Berryman) We can bring it back then, my Lord.

  4809. MR ELVIN: Mr Berryman, would you like the Committee to come and look?
  (Mr Berryman) If possible.

(The Committee were then invited to look at the model)

  4810. CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr Elvin?

  4811. MR ELVIN: Mr Berryman, perhaps we could now just turn to the lorry routing issue and have the lorry routing plan put up, which is XR5E-004.[18] Here, we have a plan showing the proposed lorry routes from the Burdett Road lorry-holding area which we see to the east, just south of Mile End. There are routes proposed to Stepney and to Hanbury Street because there is a worksite at Stepney Green as well as the worksites at Whitechapel Station and at Hanbury Street. How is it proposed that this should work in practice, Mr Berryman?

  (Mr Berryman) Well, the basic idea is that this area, the holding area, is used for stacking lorries which have come in and need to go up to the site. There is room here for about 25 lorries to be parked, and we have taken powers in the Bill to use that bit of the road as a lorry- holding area. The logistics for the project are still being worked out in fine detail, but the intention is to have two sites well outside London, outside the M25 area, which will be used as staging points for deliveries and so on to the site, so lorries will be called forward from there into the site, but obviously those will be quite a long way away, so during that time some vehicles get delayed, some vehicles go more quickly, it is strange, but it happens, some vehicles go more quickly than you expect, so the idea is that this is a holding point from which vehicles can be called forward by radio to the job that they need to go to. Basically, it is to serve three sites, as Mr Elvin just said, first of all, the Stepney Green ventilation and intervention shafts here (indicating), secondly, the sites for Whitechapel Station just here (indicating) and, finally, the Hanbury Street site just here (indicating). The basic idea would be that for vehicles going to Whitechapel, the majority of them would come into the Sainsbury's car park, which is this bit here (indicating), do whatever they have got to do and then turn around and go out again that way (indicating). Vehicles which are going to this part of the Whitechapel site (indicating) would come in in the same way, go through Durward Street here (indicating) and then out of the site in this way (indicating) and vehicles which are going to Hanbury Street will come along here (indicating), up Greatorex Street, up Hanbury Street and out that way (indicating). That is the basic plan for the handling of lorries on the site.

  4812. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: There was concern expressed in the previous discussion we had about the total numbers of lorries and lorries in the holding area, and I wanted to be clear about this. As to the maximum number of lorries that will be gathered in the holding area at any one time, you quoted a figure of 25, but somehow a much greater figure emerged in earlier discussions. Do not ask me what the basis of it was, but it was significantly bigger than that. Are there any circumstances in the holding area where we are likely to have more than 25 lorries?
  (Mr Berryman) I cannot envisage any. This holding area is, if you like, the area for holding lorries immediately proximate to the site. We will have a logistics site, at least one in East London and at least one in West London, where the main deliveries will be made and lorries will be sorted as to what timetable they need to go in and so forth, but this will be the immediate holding point. I think Lord James was concerned that lots of lorries would be queuing up on this road as they tried to get in and the purpose of this lorry-holding area is to prevent such an eventuality occurring, so, if there is some sort of blockage here, lorries can be held until that is cleared. It would be quite likely in normal operation that there would be no lorries in here at all.

  4813. Well, let's assume the worst-case scenario, say, it is a bad hair day for Crossrail lorries or whatever and you have got 25 lorries there.
  (Mr Berryman) Already here (indicating)?

  4814. Yes, in your holding area. How long are they likely to be there at any given point? Can we estimate the worst-case scenario?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, it depends what is causing the bad hair! As I said, the normal situation would be that very small numbers of lorries, if any at all, would be there. If it gets to the point where every bay is full, then we would stop calling lorries forward, but we would know that well before it got full if it became obvious that it was going to be full.

  4815. What is the maximum time? Let's assume it is a normal day then and your predictions are right and there are half a dozen or ten or whatever lorries there. How long are they likely to be there?
  (Mr Berryman) Minutes. I am discounting the possibility of some really major event, in which case they could be waiting for some time until they are all told to go home. Let's imagine for a second that there is a fatal accident on site, and obviously it is something we do not expect to happen, but let's assume for a second that it does and the site has to be closed. The vehicles which were being held there would be sent home at that point.

  4816. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I just wanted to explore what you were adding, if you like, what deleterious effects you were having on the environment by lorries at that point, and sometimes you envisage scenarios where engines are left running or whatever, contributing to pollution, et cetera. Are there instructions to ensure that that does not happen?

  4817. MR ELVIN: Could I take that up in a moment, my Lord, because I was going to take Mr Berryman to a couple of aspects of the Construction Code because you will find that those issues are addressed in the Construction Code?

  4818. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I took the precaution of reading that Construction Code and most of the, if you like, assurances are focused on what happens when they are at the site. It did not refer to the holding area, which is why I took the trouble to explore what would happen at the holding area. I may have missed it, but I did not see anything referring to the holding area.
  (Mr Berryman) I think for the purposes of this, the holding area would be classed as a site.

  4819. MR ELVIN: Your Lordship has seen the section on air quality about lorry engines not running, which is what I was referring to, and you are absolutely right, it refers to a site, but you have Mr Berryman's answer.

15   Crossrail Ref: P23, East London Railway Extensions (TOWHLB-XR5B-033) Back

16   Crossrail Ref: P23, TfL Map-Underground Zones (TOWHLB-XR5B-034) Back

17   Crossrail Ref: P23, Whitechapel Station Usage-AM peak period (0700-1000), 2016 (TOWHLB-XR5B-039) Back

18   Crossrail Ref: P23, Proposed lorry routes from Burdett Road Lorry Holding Area to Whitechapel Sites (TOWEHLB-XR5E_004) Back

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008