Examination of Witnesses (Questions 6920
6920. MR CAMERON: No, my Lord, it would
6921. CHAIRMAN: Because we cannot do
6922. MR CAMERON: I appreciate that and
that is why we put forward Option 1 in these terms. It would not
affect the principle of the Bill; that is, as I understand it,
what Ms Lieven accepts, and it is based on the very clear precedent
of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill and Act.
6923. Can I make absolutely plain that Bexley
Council welcomed the proposal to bring Crossrail to Abbey Wood
and acknowledged that that will secure benefits for the Council's
area, but the Council wish to ensure that those benefits are extended
to areas, as Ms Lieven describes them, of fairly high deprivation
in north Bexley, east of Abbey Wood.
6924. The line to Ebbsfleet, as Ms Lieven has
already said, was included in the scheme promoted in Crossrail's
July 2003 Business Case, so it was not just in 2002 but in 2003,
and then in September 2004 there was consultation carried out
by Crossrail and that included the route to Ebbsfleet, so a decision
to drop the route to Ebbsfleet and terminate the service at Abbey
Wood was only taken as late as November 2004.
6925. CHAIRMAN: But before the Bill was
introduced into Parliament?
6926. MR CAMERON: Yes, my Lord, but the
reason I make that point is that Bexley are not trying to persuade
you of the benefits of some scheme that has not been considered.
It was considered as part of Crossrail's Business Case and it
was considered in the Montague Report which reviewed the benefits
and costs of the provision.
6927. My Lord, I do not anticipate a dispute
on two main points and those are, one, whether it be physically
possible and practicable to extend the line to Ebbsfleet. I do
not anticipate dispute on that because
6928. CHAIRMAN: I think you have already
heard the answer to that. Yes, it would be done, but it is very
6929. MR CAMERON: Yes, my Lord, and our
answer on expense is we are not asking for any money to be spent
at the moment. If the amendment we seek was made there would be
no additional expense to the Promoter; it would just be made easier
for the Promoter when and if she came forward with a scheme. The
second point over which it is clear there is no dispute is that
there would be socio, economic and regeneration benefits if the
line were to be extended. There is no dispute on that.
6930. The only areas of dispute appear to be
the relative benefits of extending Crossrail to the east, and
that is the difference between the benefits with the service to
Abbey Wood and the additional benefits that would be approved
if you took it east, and, again, not a substantial dispute on
that. The only other issue is how best to grant the powers that
authorise a future extension and, again, on that there appears
to be no dispute that you can do it, and so the case that Bexley
puts is: if you can do it, why not do it? It does not cost the
Secretary of State anything.
6931. On the issue of procedure I have already
addressed the Committee and I do not intend to go over that again,
save to emphasise that Option 1 is our preference: it has been
done before, it can be done, and it can be done without affecting
the principle of the Bill. Option 2 is very much our second best
which is, in effect, that we are seeking warm words from the Committee
but we would like the Committee to go further and to go for Option
1. As I have already said, the history of this is that in the
Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill what is our Option 2 was the first
stage of the Committee, then people went away and thought about
it and, once they had thought about it, the solution they came
up with was the one that is equivalent to our Option 1, but because
that thought took place before, we can use the advantage of it
and go straight to Option 1.
6932. CHAIRMAN: Which House would this
happen in? The first House or the second House?
6933. MR CAMERON: The first House, my
Lord, but the amendment only took place at the consideration stage
and it was specifically stated in the debate that it did not involve
a rehybridisation of the Bill.
6934. As far as the merits are concerned I would
like to just draw attention to one exhibit, and Mr Donovan will
give evidence in a moment but if your Lordships would not mind
going to page 40 of the exhibits, at page 40 you will see an extract
from the Crossrail Business Case summary, September 2003, so this
is when the line to Ebbsfleet was still in.8
The areas marked in blue are described as regeneration areas so
those are areas which deserve and are in need of action to achieve
regeneration, and the Committee will see that by stopping the
line at point 9, which is Abbey Wood, a very large proportion
of the regeneration areas which would otherwise have benefited
from Crossrail will not benefit from Crossrail to the same extent.
They will have some benefit because of the interchange at Abbey
Wood, but by cutting it at point 9 the ability to benefit the
Thames Gateway regeneration areas is removed, and pictorially
one can see that almost half the regeneration areas are, therefore,
cut out from the benefits that would otherwise have been derived
from Crossrail, and you will see on the right hand side of the
page the estimate of jobs that would result in key regeneration
areas directly served by the route, 56,000 to 110,000 jobs. That
will no longer be the case.
6935. My Lord, I do not say anything else on
the benefits for the moment because, unless I can assist the Committee
any further, what I would intend to do is call Mr Donovan, who
can deal with the regeneration and other benefits.
6936. CHAIRMAN: Yes. I think he will
have to deal with it fairly briefly.
6937. MR CAMERON: My Lord, yes. I hope
we will be able to skip through the bundle, having been given
6938. CHAIRMAN: Very well. Was this matter
discussed in the House of Commons?
6939. MR CAMERON: Yes, my Lord.
7 8 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 1(BEXYLB-44_05A-040) Back