Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7000 - 7019)

  7000. CHAIRMAN: Most of us know all too well!

  7001. MR CAMERON: At page 40 there is a generalised map, I do not know whether you can show it on that.[23]24

  (Mr Donovan) Yes, I can do it. For my sins, Bluewater is actually my local personal shopping centre, I only live a mile away from it. It is shown on that map around about where the "12" is, the red "12".

  7002. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: So does it have any traffic implications for you?

   (Mr Donovan) No. The reason is that it is so far away they are dampened down by the time it gets there. It certainly has traffic implications for those of us who live around it, but in terms of the traffic implications further in it does not have direct impact, apart from possibly on the routes through the north of the borough on a Saturday, but even there I have travelled into Bexley frequently from the Bluewater area on a Saturday and Bluewater itself is not having any impact. The impacts we have had in Bexley from Bluewater have all been around the work we have had to do to safeguard particularly Bexley Heath, our strategic centre, from the retail impact of Bluewater rather than the actual traffic impact.

  7003. MR CAMERON: Can we move on to page 39.[24]25 The point has been made to you that even if the amendment is made it will take a very long time for Crossrail to come to Bexley and what are Bexley doing in the meantime. What does page 39 show us?

  (Mr Donovan) I have already explained some of the things we are doing in terms of lobbying strongly around the transport agenda. These are examples of some of the regeneration programmes that we are able to negotiate and draw down from Communities and Local Government. Some of these schemes involve funding from the Mayor of London and at the moment we have got some European funding and are looking to put in European Regional Development Funding bids as well. It is a constantly changing programme of regeneration schemes. Some or all of those would be hugely benefited, from our point of view, by Crossrail going east of Abbey Wood.

  7004. The next page, page 40, is headed "Benefits of Crossrail".[25]26 The Committee has already seen that page. Then there is a series of pages, "Benefits of Crossrail" and we can see from the notes the source for this is the Crossrail Business Case summary of September 2003. I will lead you on this. At that time the route to Ebbsfleet formed part of the Crossrail proposal. Have I got that right?

  (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7005. Can we turn over the page and see what Crossrail themselves were saying about the effect on— You identified Belvedere and Swanscombe as examples.[26]27 What does page 41 show the Committee?

  (Mr Donovan) Page 41 shows that there would be improvements in accessibility from Crossrail and, interestingly, Belvedere and Swanscombe are shown to have much bigger increases in accessibility in terms of the percentage increase in the population that would be within a 45 minute travel time and also the average time savings are greater in those areas as well. This is an indication, in a sense, that you are providing such a huge uplift in accessibility for those areas that the numbers are quite big. In a lot of the other places, to some degree accessibility is not quite the issue Crossrail is addressing.

  7006. If we turn over the page, impact on jobs, again Crossrail's own figures, what were the predictions for increases in regeneration jobs?[27]28

  (Mr Donovan) The unweighted figures which are shown on table 42 suggest over 10,000 jobs in Belvedere and 11,000 within the Ebbsfleet and Swanscombe area.

  7007. Then we find the weighting on the next page.[28]29

  (Mr Donovan) It is around the judgment on how that is going to work in practice taking local circumstances. There is some dampening of the Belvedere jobs but, as you can see, an increase in the Swanscombe jobs, so the total benefits drop under the weighting from around about 21,600 or so to 19,000, but still substantial as a proportion of the overall total number suggested.

  7008. If we go to page 44, that is a proportion of people who are unemployed and economically inactive who get jobs as a result of Crossrail.[29]30

  (Mr Donovan) Yes, particularly in Belvedere where there is a residual group, if you like, of economically inactive and unemployed and it has been suggested a large proportion of those jobs would come to them.

  7009. That was the position at the time that Crossrail were proposing to go to Ebbsfleet. Turn over the page to page 45 and we deal with the consequences if Crossrail terminates at Abbey Wood.[30]31 What are the consequences? Just take us through the next few pages.[31]32

  (Mr Donovan) This is the one I was mentioning earlier where travelling west to jobs you would expect, as the Petitioner said earlier, in the end you would have a very short interchange penalty there. As I understand it, five minutes is the average that is worked out. Coming the other way, the interchange penalties would increase enormously because you would have to get off the train at Abbey Wood and then have a relatively long wait to pick up a train going eastwards. The next few tables indicate in some detail the headways and how that would work in practice.

  7010. So in very rough terms, if you are going one way you would have to wait 15 minutes and if you are going the other way you would have to wait five minutes.

   (Mr Donovan) That would be right, yes.

  7011. How long does the journey take from Abbey Wood to Belvedere?

   (Mr Donovan) Two and a half minutes.

  7012. So you have to wait 15 minutes to get on a train which then takes two and a half minutes to take you to Belvedere?

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7013. CHAIRMAN: Before you move on, there is a whole collection of tables from the Crossrail July 2003 presentations with the extension to Ebbsfleet. What would be the situation without it for the moment, but taking account of the other things that Bexley Council is trying to put in place? Have you got a parallel table?

   (Mr Donovan) Of the current situation?

  7014. The various points that were put forward in these 2003 tables.

   (Mr Donovan) I think the straight answer is we do not have a direct table in those terms, but we will always be working to seek to achieve the job totals that are within the Mayor's overall framework and with housing. It is partly also about quality, as I said earlier on, that Crossrail would enable us to change the nature of the jobs; it would change the types of jobs as much as the numbers.

  7015. I am perfectly well aware of this. You have got in hand a collection of plans in relation to jobs, transport and so on, which do not take account of Crossrail going to Ebbsfleet at the moment.

   (Mr Donovan) No.

  7016. What would be the parallel figures to those that are shown in the 2003 tables? Supposing you were successful, you must have planning figures.

   (Mr Donovan) We have planning figures for housing at borough level. It is difficult to disaggregate the borough level figures at the moment. We would be seeking in the north part of the borough and anticipating over that period 3,000 or so houses. Jobs would vary quite a bit depending on other assumptions but several thousand. It is difficult to be absolutely precise over a period as long as that. We have target figures, but in terms of actual outcome figures it would be difficult to be more precise than that.

  7017. You have no planning figures?

   (Mr Donovan) For?

  7018. For all these criteria that you have listed from the July 2003 Crossrail papers. Supposing it does not happen for the moment, have you got planning figures which are parallel to the figures you have put in here?

   (Mr Donovan) It is difficult to be precise about that.

  7019. Yes, of course it is, but I am asking about planning figures.

   (Mr Donovan) The ones we are assuming. Up to 2016 we are assuming about 5,000 houses borough-wide and we would be assuming planning for increased jobs of around about 3,000 borough-wide.

23   24 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 1(BEXYLB-44_05A-040) Back

24   25 Committee Ref: A35, Existing Regeneration Initiatives (BEXYLB-44_05A-039) Back

25   26 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 1(BEXYLB-44_05A-040) Back

26   27 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 2: Accessibility and time savings (BEXYLB-44_05A-041) Back

27   28 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 3: Increase in employment (unweighted) (BEXYLB-44_05A-042) Back

28   29 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 4: Increase in employment (weighted) (BEXYLB-44_05A-043) Back

29   30 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 5: Take up of employment by unemployed (BEXYLB-44_05A-044) Back

30   31 Committee Ref: A35, Population & Employment west of Belvedere (1) (BEXYLB-44_05A-045) Back

31   32 Committee Ref: A35, Population & Employment west of Belvedere (2) (BEXYLB-44_05A-046) Back

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