Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 5400 - 5419)

  5400. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: There is nothing that is not likely to come back again when they are replaced?

  5401. MS SINGLETON: No.

  5402. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: So we can cross that off our worry list?

  5403. MS SINGLETON: Yes. There are a number of trees in Durward Street which have struggled to survive and have just got a hold on life and I do not know whether any of them would be affected at all.

  5404. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Thank you.

  5405. CHAIRMAN: I would like to have a very short break. Ms Lieven, I think we are getting to the situation for the second time where the arrangements with Tower Hamlets about what is going to be done about these junctions is raising its head. I wonder if you would like, while we have a five minute break, to take instructions and see how far you can go because we will not have an another opportunity after this Committee is finished and it does not seem to me that you have made very little progress with Tower Hamlets about some of these very obvious details. Could you put your heads together while we have a short break and see what you can do to help us.

  5406. MS LIEVEN: Certainly.

After a short break

  5407. CHAIRMAN: Welcome back. Mrs Singleton, that was all you wanted to ask Mr Walters, was it?

  5408. MS SINGLETON: Actually I do have another question. This thought continues as well about Cambridge Heath Road. If at peak times there are 240 lorries coming into the Sainsbury's site, 60 of them are then going out into Durward Street but that means 180 lorries are going to come into Sainsbury's and exit Sainsbury's. I am wondering what the load factor will be on Cambridge Heath Road and Whitechapel Road, the A11 which, to begin with, will be a fairly tight turn. It seems to me that added to the fact that there are all the lorries coming down Vallance Road it is a tremendous amount of movement per day.

   (Mr Walters) It is a lot at the peak, your sums are right. If you divide it by the 10 hour day, it is between 12 and 14 an hour movements into that.

  5409. CHAIRMAN: Whose peak is it? Is it your peak or peak rush hour?

   (Mr Walters) It is our peak. When I talk about a peak, it is a peak period of maybe 20 or 30 weeks when our production of excavated material from the tunnels is at its peak, so it is our peak number of lorry movements during the course of a four or five year construction programme, my Lord.

  5410. This does not correspond with rush hours?

   (Mr Walters) We will not have lorries going into and out of the site while the schools are operating and we will try, from the point of view of getting lorries to and from the site, and avoid the rush hour as much as we can, but inevitably if you need a constant flow of lorries there will be some in the rush hour.

  5411. MS SINGLETON: I understand one of the reasons the lorries will be coming in and out of the worksite is to take excavated spoil away. Would this mean there would have to be a build up of spoil during those peak times?

   (Mr Walters) To an extent the sites are quite small so the amount of area available for storing excavated material temporarily is quite small, but we will need to clear excavated material away in the mornings and make sure the sites are clear in the evenings as well.

  5412. Would it be difficult to do this without the continual flow, whether it is the peak hour or not?

   (Mr Walters) It is a question of programming and trying to get lorries on to site at a continual rate, but with the half-hour closure for the schools corresponding to part of the rush hour, it is something we have to manage and learn by practice to start with, whether we need to get a certain number of lorries down at the start of work and exactly how it is going to phase in with our rate of production of material. It is difficult to be absolutely precise at the moment.

  5413. BARONESS FOOKES: Did I not understand from earlier evidence that it was planned to have really major holding sites just beyond the M25, if I recall correctly, and that there would be constant radio or telephone contact so that you were able to judge the flow that was needed of lorries and excavated materials pretty finely?

   (Mr Walters) Yes, you did, my Lady, Mr Berryman talked about that last week. The use of logistic sites will be particularly important when we are dealing with the fit-out stages of the projects when you need lorries that have got a range of materials on them. For the excavated material going away by lorry, very often it will be the lorry holding areas which will be used to a great extent. There would be no reason for them to go into a logistics area to change loads, for instance, it depends very much where the material is being taken to. We would not want to force them through the logistic sites if it meant a much longer journey to where they were going.

  5414. I gather some are going to be carried down to water by barge, some of the excavated material, is that right?

   (Mr Walters) There is a range. The main tunnelling works where the excavated material is produced at Limmo and out at Paddington will go away by barge and by rail respectively. From the central area station sites, that is Whitechapel and the other stations going west through to Bond Street. The ticket halls and the shafts have to go away by road, but the tunnels connecting between the stations go away through the already excavated tunnels out to Limmo and to Paddington.

  5415. CHAIRMAN: Does that give rise to any more points?

  5416. MS SINGLETON: No.

  5417. CHAIRMAN: Is there anything you want to clear up?

  5418. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, can I attempt to deal with your Lordship's concerns from before the short break and if we leave Mr Walters in the witness box for a moment, then he may need to contribute. So far as the concern about Vallance Road is concerned, my Lord, can I make three points: first of all, when Tower Hamlets attended before this Committee a couple of weeks ago, if I could read you what they said about this type of issue, what Mr Drabble said was, paragraph 2036: "Our first priority at Whitechapel has been to secure the maximum protection for residents' businesses, school children, the hospital and other users in the area from what will inevitably be major construction impacts. In this respect I am pleased to say that we have secured a range of undertakings which are designed to protect the area from heavy lorry traffic and construction activities, particularly in the vicinity of Kempton Court and Durward Street. We have also worked very closely with Swanlea School and as you will see from the Register of Undertakings the school has secured a number of important undertakings to protect its continuing progress as a successful school". I would not want this Committee to think that Tower Hamlets were not engaged in this issue.[19]

  5419. CHAIRMAN: No, but presumably we can find these on the Register.

19   Para 2036 [Mr Drabble QC] Back

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