Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 5240 - 5259)

  5240. If we move on to the next exhibit, I can show you how Crossrail impacts upon this.[2] We have marked up Kempton Court in red there so your Lordships can see the same configuration, the L-shaped block and the crescent. There is no doubt that these properties are going to be materially impacted by Crossrail because to the south—and it is quite difficult to see on the large screen, it is easier to see on the screens in front but if I try and do it from here—we are carrying out work to Whitechapel Station at surface level by extending platforms and doing some work to the tracks to the District Line, so there is a worksite, as the Committee can see looking in front of you on your screens, on the District Line at Whitechapel Station and there is various work going on there. There is also a worksite to the north of Kempton Court called the Durward Street worksite here (indicating), which is involved in the construction of a ventilation and emergency escape access shaft, the Durward Street shaft here (indicating), so there is a worksite impacting to the north and there is also, albeit somewhat more distantly, a worksite to the east in the Sainsbury's car park. The Committee will remember the bus stopping in the Sainsbury's car park. There is a shaft to be constructed here (indicating), the Cambridge Street shaft, and some of the car park will be used as a worksite.

  5241. I should point out it is not terribly clear on this one but there is also going to be a small worksite for a limited period of time in the small part of the car park of Kempton Court in order for mobile cranes to go in to do work on the East London Line and the District Line, but that will be for a relatively short period of time.

  5242. Connected with these worksites there will be lorry movements, the Committee will remember, in this vicinity. If we look at Exhibit 9, this diagrammatically shows the lorry movements.[3] We have got the Sainsbury's worksite here (indicating), Durward Street to the north, Whitechapel Station to the south and the west, and Kempton Court is not shown here but it is in that block there (indicating). There will be lorries coming down Durward Street going into the Durward Street shaft but the relatively good news is that they will be accessing out the other way so there will not be two-way movements down Durward Street. The Committee has already heard a good deal of evidence about how lorry movements will be controlled, about section 61 agreements with the Council, and about the agreement we have reached with both the school and Tower Hamlets on limiting hours of lorry movements past school exits and entries including Durward Street.

  5243. There is one other impact, unfortunately, on Kempton Court which I should mention, which is if we go back to 002, it is extremely difficult to see on this but the thick light blue lines are the Crossrail platforms and the cross tunnels, and you can see from that that Kempton Court sits right on top of the Crossrail platforms.[4] Kempton Court is a building built on piles and, although we cannot be absolutely certain, we believe it likely that some of the piles from Kempton Court will impinge within the area of the tunnel platform and therefore will have to be, as it is known in the technical trade, nibbled at the bottom in order to get them out of the area of the platform tunnels. We carried out detailed work on this and there will be no structural impact on Kempton Court but there will be tunnelling impact, particularly from this work that will have to be done to the piles. It is of short duration but will produce perceptible groundborne noise while it is going on, so there is no doubt that they are being impacted from a number of different directions, including underneath, and those impacts are fully acknowledged in the relevant parts of the Environmental Statement.

  5244. We carried out a great deal of work on Kempton Court in preparation for the House of Commons hearing—and if I can put up 011 first—this is a letter we wrote to the Petitioners just before the House of Commons appearance on 5 June 2006 and in which we set out the position in respect of noise.[5] There is just one point I want to highlight which is the fifth paragraph where we say: "Precisely which properties will be eligible under the scheme will be determined in the future. This is because the noise levels in and around Whitechapel Station may change over time. It is therefore not appropriate to determine now exactly which properties will be eligible for noise mitigation and which will not. If this were done now it may that by the time the construction begins, properties would be provided with noise mitigation that did not need it or it may be that properties would not be provided with noise mitigation that would need it." So we carried out detailed assessments but the final assessments upon which noise mitigation will be decided are for a future stage when the detailed design is carried out. In anticipation of the House of Commons appearance we undertook a comprehensive noise assessment report so the residents could have all the noise impacts pulled together in one report and that appears in the exhibits starting at page 18. I am not going to take the Committee through it but it is there if the Committee want to see it.

  5245. Then in respect of the other Kempton Court concerns, at 013, we set out in a letter of the same date a response on all the various impacts that they had raised as concerns and, if I can just highlight at the bottom of page 13.[6] The reference to construction traffic and lorry routes and that these will be the subject of agreement under the Act—assuming it becomes an Act—with the Council of Tower Hamlets, and we then set out the proposed lorry routes as we saw them at that time, and we also in that letter deal with a number of other issues that have been raised. So we have done what we can in terms of giving these Petitioners as much information and as much reassurance as is appropriate at the present time.

  5246. My Lords, I think I will leave it there unless there are any questions at this stage. I do have various witnesses available if they are needed but I understand that Ms Singleton is going to make a statement so, if I may, I will take a view later as to whether we need to call evidence or not.

  5247. CHAIRMAN: Are the District Line works going to be carried out at the same time as the Crossrail works?

  5248. MS LIEVEN: They are all going to be carried out as part of the Crossrail project; whether they are actually going to be precisely concurrent within the four years will depend on the construction time-tabling, but largely my Lord, yes.

  5249. BARNONESS FOOKES: Just a query about the lorry routes. I may be completely mistaken, but I had the impression that the lorry routes were going to be in the opposite direction from which they are shown here off the Whitechapel Road. They appear to be coming out there and I thought they were going in there, but, as I say, I may be mistaken so I just need clarification.

  5250. MS LIEVEN: My understanding on instruction—and those behind me will tell me if I have got it wrong—is in relation to the Durward Street and District Line worksites the lorries will come into the Sainsbury's site, and if they are not stopping at the Sainsbury site, cross Brady Street and go into Durward Street westbound and then either into the Durward Street site or into the District Line site and then continue down Durward Street westbound and out into Vallance Road and then Whitechapel Road.[7] Your Ladyship may have in mind, and that is my understanding—although I am no expert on this—is in respect of the Hanbury Street works the orientation is different. The lorries I think come off Whitechapel Road, up a street over here (indicating) and then come out down Vallance Road. I am making it up but it is something like that (indicating), they do a loop, and then come back down Vallance Road.

  5251. BARNONESS FOOKES: But these two lots of construction work would not be overlapping?

  5252. MS LIEVEN: I think they may be overlapping for a short period of time, although of course the Hanbury Street works are much shorter than the works around Kempton Court and Whitechapel Station. Even if they do overlap, the only point where the lorries come together is here at the bottom of Vallance Road.

  5253. BARNONESS FOOKES: I thought that was very narrow.

  5254. MS LIEVEN: It is quite narrow but they are going in the same direction there because they are coming north up Greatorex Street and south down Vallance Road so they will all come together in Vallance Road. I will ask those behind me as to a peak figure for Vallance Road so your Ladyship can have some overall sense.

  5255. CHAIRMAN: Ms Lieven, where is the famous McDonalds?

  5256. MS LIEVEN: McDonalds is, I would guess, about there (indicating). Is that about right, team?

  5257. CHAIRMAN: That is Fulbourne Street, is it not?

  5258. MS LIEVEN: That is Fulbourne Street. Fulbourne Street comes across here (indicating). This is an indicative plan. If we go on to the next plan, that, I believe, is Fulbourne Street (indicating).[8] That is Vallance Road, that is Durward Street and I believe that is Fulbourne Street (indicating).

  5259. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: This is the first time we have had concentration on the possibility that two converging streams of truck will meet in one very narrow road. I do not recall having heard that expressed with the clarity that you have expressed it this afternoon. It concerns me because of the impact it may have on the issues we have discussed previously, as to the danger that represents in terms of creating a backlog of congestion at a time when schools are coming out and the problems of organising an orderly filter of the traffic on to the Whitechapel Road without causing a massive tailback into the city. This is quite important and I do not think we have had any direct recognition or exposure to the point of the possibility of two converging streams of trucks. We need to know how many and what treatment will be given to the handling of those peak concentrations because it does impact on a number of the issues which we have discussed previously.

2   Crossrail Ref: P40, Whitechapel Station-Crossrail Proposals showing Kempton Court (TOWHLB-8_04-002) Back

3   Crossrail Ref: P40, Whitechapel Station-Proposed Lorry Routes (TOWHLB-8_04-009) Back

4   Crossrail Ref: P40, Whitechapel Station-Crossrail Proposals showing Kempton Court (TOWHLB-8_04-002) Back

5   Crossrail Ref: P40, Generic correspondence to from CLRL to Whitechapel residents, 5 June 2006 (TOWHLB-8_04-011) Back

6   Crossrail Ref: P40, Correspondence to from CLRL to Kempton Court Residents Committee, 5 June 2006 (TOWHLB-8_04-013) Back

7   Crossrail Ref: P40, Proposed lorry routes from Burdett Road Lorry Holding Area to Whitechapel worksites (TOWHLB-8_04-010) Back

8   Crossrail Ref: P40, Whitechapel Station-Crossrail Proposals showing Kempton Court (TOWHLB-8_04-002) Back

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