Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 5420 - 5439)

  5420. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, you can find the undertakings, yes, but what has been going on behind this is a lot of discussions with Tower Hamlets about whether we have got to an appropriate stage at an appropriate time and understanding that there will be further discussions to be undertaken later in the process as detailed design proceeds. That is the first point I wanted to make.

  5421. CHAIRMAN: What Mrs Singleton will want to know is it says here a range of undertakings designed to protect, for instance, the vicinity of Kempton Court, what undertakings?

  5422. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, so far as the undertakings that Tower Hamlets were referring to are concerned, we have in the exhibit bundle produced pages from the Register of Undertakings given to Swanlea School and your Lordships can see those at page 87. A lot of the Swanlea School concerns were not specifically about lorries, they were about a range of other issues, but there are undertakings about the consultation with the school. If you look at undertaking 305, "The Promoter undertakes to work with Tower Hamlets on measures to control the potential use of Durward Street as a through-route by general traffic at this time. This will be done in consultation with Tower Hamlets". Then 301 is dealing with the exit issues. There is a whole series of undertakings there which, I have to say, have met the concerns of the school at the present time. Again, the school is still talking to us and will continue to do so right through the construction programme, but at the present time the school is satisfied that we are at the right place at this time.

  5423. CHAIRMAN: From 137 onwards we have got the Kempton Court Residents Committee.

  5424. MS LIEVEN: Yes, those are the undertakings I referred to earlier.

  5425. CHAIRMAN: Mrs Singleton, have you got these?

  5426. MS SINGLETON: Yes, I do have them.

  5427. CHAIRMAN: I think it would be helpful if you could find your copy of them because these, after all, are for your benefit.

  5428. MS LIEVEN: There are also a whole range of undertakings and assurances given to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which appear in the main Register which your Lordships have, and they start at 182. The next point to make and emphasise is that even in respect of the combined flows on Vallance Road, it is important to understand that the flows are not that high in relation to construction traffic. We have got a flow of something like 60 from the Durward Street sites north and south and only 16 coming down from Hanbury Street. It is very easy to get confused at this point. These are peak day flows, not peak hour or peak three hour flows as is shown with pedestrian movements at stations, so actually a total of 76 vehicles per day, even on a route which, as my Lord, Lord Snape made the point, may have other HGVs coming down it, it is actually not that many. It is six or seven an hour, one every eight to ten minutes in a worse case, so there will be vehicles, there is no getting away from it, but we are not talking about a massively heavy number on HGVs on Vallance Road.

  5429. It is important to remember a point that Mr Walters made, that it is relatively unlikely—and I cannot say it is impossible but it is relatively unlikely—that the peaks of the two sites will coincide anyway but, even if they do, there is no reason to suppose that Vallance Road cannot cope with that situation.

  5430. CHAIRMAN: What are the 2010 predicted traffic flows on some of these roads; for instance Vallance Road?

  5431. MS LIEVEN: My Lord Chairman, those will be in background papers to the Environmental Statement. I cannot give you those figures immediately, since they are largely only available through the computers, but I can say that in the Environmental Statement, where increased HGVs were judged against existing flows, the impact at Vallance Road was not considered to be significant whereas the impact at Cambridge Heath Road was because of the much larger number of vehicles at Cambridge Hath Road. I can find the base figures and give them to you tomorrow.

  5432. The third point I would like to make is to suggest that we draw up a note on traffic flows at these two locations, coming down Vallance Street and Cambridge Heath Road, and get that agreed with Tower Hamlets, together with a statement as to the likely traffic management steps that would be needed at the two critical points, the east and west junctions with Durward Street. Then your Lordships can see where we and Tower Hamlets are at this point in the construction/design process, so that your Lordships can be confident that we and Tower Hamlets have put our minds to the matter at the present time.

  5433. CHAIRMAN: This will be the first time we have heard anything concrete about this.

  5434. MS LIEVEN: I would suggest that we draw up such a note and take it to Tower Hamlets and produce to your Lordships an agreed note between us and the highway authority. That will not set in stone what happens at these locations—because it is wholly appropriate that when a contractor is appointed and the detailed design is taken forward, we, the contractors and the local authority work together—but I can see that it might give your Lordships comfort to understand where we have got to so far and what Tower Hamlet's view on that was.

  5435. CHAIRMAN: It is not just us, it is the Petitioners.

  5436. MS LIEVEN: Absolutely, my Lord. I will not be able to do that within 24 hours because, obviously, we need to go to Tower Hamlets, but we could produce it in the course of next week. I hope that could cover the points of concern that have been raised this afternoon.

  5437. BARONESS FOOKES: While we are on this point: you will recall, my Lord Chairman, that last week there was a difference of view as to whether lorries could get around a particular corner. Just for the moment names escape me but there was a distinct difference of view between the engineer and the Petitioners. That could also be included if you are going to look more closely at all these matters. If you are looking in specific terms in this area, it would be a pity to leave out something that could be quite germane.

  5438. MS LIEVEN: I have to admit I do not know which corner it is, but I will ask Mr Mould and I will make sure that is included in the note at the same time.

  5439. BARONESS FOOKES: My memory is slightly faulty but I do recall the incident very clearly and it can easily be looked up.

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