Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4840 - 4859)

  4840. MR ELVIN: You want prevention not cure.

  4841. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Exactly. I am asking you, can it be done, what is the normal practice?
  (Mr Berryman) The normal practice is to rely on inspection and also to rely on members of the public and the police, in particular, reporting infringement and certainly local government staff and so on would be interested in that. The difficulty is it is rather like trying to prove a negative. If we put an inspector to monitor the approved routes, all we know is about the vehicles that have gone on the approved routes, we do not know about any of the vehicles that have gone on a non-approved route and there are so many potential routes—maybe not in this particular area but in some parts of London—you can never check that other than by spot checks.

  4842. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: You can, but I suspect you probably will not go to the trouble. If you go to Germany, you will find that every lorry in Germany can be identified at a precise moment wherever it is with the satellite tracking system that they now use there, which is what the Chancellor announced yesterday. We are going to explore using them here.
  (Mr Berryman) This is for tolling purposes, my Lord.

  4843. Yes, it is a long way off and it is rather expensive but it can be done.
  (Mr Berryman) It can be, my Lord, but I have some experience of this in the matter of buses because London Transport tried to introduce a similar system here for the tracking of their buses and the difficulty is in London the number of tall buildings make it very, very difficult to make the tracking of the kind of accuracy that you are talking about but I suspect—

  4844. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Technology moves on, though. By 2012 it might be different, we may have different lorries in 2012.
  (Mr Berryman) Indeed we may.

  4845. BARONESS FOOKES: Mr Berryman, can we come down to earth from the satellite setting. What are the penalties if anybody is found to have infringed this because if the penalties are not severe enough, then it could be ignored with impunity.
  (Mr Berryman) It is normally considered as industrial misconduct if someone—

  4846. What does that mean?
  (Mr Berryman) It normally means dismissal.

  4847. Of?
  (Mr Berryman) The driver.

  4848. BARONESS FOOKES: What about the firm itself?
  (Mr Berryman) It depends whether the driver was acting on his own initiative or he had been told to do that.

  4849. MR ELVIN: If, as Baroness Fookes suggests, there may be some firm fault, for example you discover there is a systematic failure with the way the firm is dealing with its drivers, would there be disciplinary procedures within the contracts to ensure ---?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, there would be. The contract would contain clauses on how that would be remedied. At the end of the day if it was a really serious matter of negligence by the firm involved it could result in a termination of the contract.

  4850. MR ELVIN: Putting it at its bluntest, would there be real incentives on the drivers and the firms to ensure that they did not breach the routing requirements?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, there are real incentives in doing that.

  4851. CHAIRMAN: I wonder if I could ask you two questions. First of all, I know the road holding area fairly well. It is quite wide there. It is just the main road, is it?
  (Mr Berryman) It is indeed, my Lord.

  4852. You are just going to let them line up on the left-hand side of the road?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, that is correct, my Lord.

  4853. Going north, as it were?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, my Lord.

  4854. Twenty-five of them?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, my Lord.

  4855. Or more?
  (Mr Berryman) It would not be more. The length of it is just over 250 metres.

  4856. All this area is in Tower Hamlets. How far have you got in discussions with the Council as the highway authority?
  (Mr Berryman) These plans that you saw a moment ago are based on the discussion we have had with them. We have been in discussion with them since 2001. They are the authority on which I think we have the most impact of any of the local authorities we are dealing with and we have generally a very constructive relationship with them and these matters have been discussed with them at great length.

  4857. I think one of the things that impressed us all when we went to Spitalfields was the narrowness of the streets and also the very tight junctions. What does Tower Hamlets say they may or may not want to do about that? You will not get a large lorry around some of those corners.
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct, my Lord. I think you are probably talking about the routes which go around towards the Hanbury Street shaft.[20]

  4858. CHAIRMAN: That is where we went.
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, there are a number of junctions which will need improvement, in particular there is a junction between Spital Street and a road whose name escapes me, Buxton Street I think it is called, where we need to re-align the kerb and there is a problem at the junction of Buxton Street and Vallance Street which is why we have only got vehicles turning right on to the main road because we could not find a way of accommodating vehicles turning left at that point. This junction here will need improvement and this is why the one-way system goes this way and why vehicles are brought in this way because there simply is not room to make a turning circle for a vehicle going that way at that point (Indicating). Does that make sense, my Lord?

  4859. BARONESS FOOKES: Is this where the farm and the school are on the opposite side?
  (Mr Berryman) The farm is just here, my Lady (Indicating).

20   Crossrail Ref: P23, Proposed lorry routes to Whitechapel Sites (SCN-20080313-018) Back

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