Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 4940 - 4959)

  4940. CHAIRMAN: Ms Jordan, it does not. This is an ongoing problem. This is exactly what the Panel is for. Is it right that it has never even discussed it?

  4941. MS JORDAN: Is it right that it has not discussed it? You have not got a Bill through Parliament yet.

  4942. CHAIRMAN: You have not even got a Panel. So you are not going to do anything about it until the Bill gets Royal Assent?

  4943. MS JORDAN: We are doing a great deal about it and our concern is that the lorries which are carrying a great deal of soil along a major route which has a lot of schoolchildren along it will not be able to get round the corner here. This is one of our problems. These are not awkward concerns. These are concerns of a resident population in this area who know what is going to happen.

  4944. BARONESS FOOKES: Could I just interpose here? Is that the corner where you, Mr Berryman, said that there would have to be alterations to it?

   (Mr Berryman) No, my Lady. That was that corner there (indicating).

  4945. MS JORDAN: I believe you did imply that there would be alterations here but we have not seen them.

   (Mr Berryman) The alterations here would be banning of parking on this side of the street (indicating).

  4946. BARONESS FOOKES: But not altering the actual angle of the turn?

   (Mr Berryman) To the best of my recollection I do not think we need to do anything with the kerb line here (indicating), my Lady. It is merely a question of making enough room for vehicles to turn across the road.

  4947. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Mr Berryman, can I first suggest that you double-check that one?

   (Mr Berryman) I will.

  4948. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: We have had a genuine concern expressed and I understand that. As to the point that was made about the schoolchildren, we have pursued this one on this Committee, I would say --- no, I am not going to use a certain phrase, but we have pursued it very closely because I am genuinely concerned about that. There is a Liaison Panel that is working with the schools, so the schools have discussed and, as we understand it, have approved the periods of time in which the lorries can circulate, which do not coincide with the times when the children are either leaving or entering the school. That is a matter of continuing assessment with the school. It is not a static process, although you have undertaken the initial assessment and you have reached an agreement, as I understand it.

  4949. MR ELVIN: What we have undertaken is a continuing process of liaison. I can tell you that the subjects that are being discussed at the school meetings include noise, dust, lorry routes, safety schemes, school liaison during construction, hours of work, pedestrian safety and possible presentations to parents and children and other such matters, so it includes both the routing and the hours and pedestrian safety.

  4950. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I was just trying to reassure the Petitioner that we share your concerns. We have expressed them very forcefully here and I think we have had pretty convincing answers.

  4951. MR ELVIN: And, can I say, we share those concerns. Nobody wants any problems to arise with schoolchildren, or indeed anyone else, for that matter.

  4952. CHAIRMAN: Ms Jordan, can you just tell me this? You said that nothing was going to be done until Royal Assent so far as concerns that.

  4953. MS JORDAN: No, there is a lot being done. There is a lot of discussion gone on. We try to analyse where our problems are in the area and that is what we are trying to point out to you. It is not true that a lot has not been done.

  4954. CHAIRMAN: Can I just put this to you for your consideration? Do you think that the members of the Panel would like this Select Committee to do anything about the problems that you perceive, because if you are going to leave it till Royal Assent it is too late?

  4955. MS JORDAN: No, we are desperate for you to do things. That is why we are here trying to say things. That is why we are here, of course. You are our last hope. We know that lorry drivers go down side streets, and in fact, if you talk to the people at King's Cross you will know that the only people that effect change when things go wrong are people that are living in that area and are having to suffer the nuisance and try and do something about it. We are trying to identify problems now so that we do not have them later. You quite rightly said when I heard your presentation yesterday about the fact that we want all these things sorting out before we start. With the King's Cross Committee they were halfway through all this process and they were inundated with lorry dust before they got those mechanisms in place. We fully appreciate all that. There are significant things that are greater than just whether or not you can tweak it at a local level and we think one of our major problems is that lorries cannot turn round that corner. That is one of the problems, we think, and we have no evidence to see. Mr Berryman says that. I would like to say also on the schools that a member of my Committee is a governor of the Thomas Buxton School, and I could bring him here and he would tell you an entirely different tale about what they think about what they have been consulted on or not, and certainly the Catholic School, which is St Anne's, is not part of all that process. It is outside that process. We have been through these processes before. Everything we say is wrong and everything that Mr Elvin says is right. That is what we feel.

  4956. CHAIRMAN: This is just not true. Can you just listen to me for a minute? One of the troubles is that you do not come. An awful lot of the Petitioners from Spitalfields just do not come. You do not come, you do not ask questions, and therefore there is nothing we can do.

  4957. MS JORDAN: But we do come.

  4958. CHAIRMAN: Well, there are quite a lot of people who have not come.

  4959. MS JORDAN: I am sorry, my Lord, but I do not know when we have not come. I have been here three times. This is my third time. I came with a barrister this time because I am deaf. I have great difficulties, and in fact the last two times I have been I have been told to shut up, basically, so it is not true that we do not come. We do come. Mr Berryman is saying, "We are still thinking about whether or not we will or will not have a hole here". There is a large percentage of the population of Spitalfields who now believe, because of two newspaper articles and at least four presentations on the ethnic television channels, that there will be no hole in Spitalfields, which was announced when we were all beginning to petition.

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