Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7080 - 7099)

  7080. CHAIRMAN: Yes, and I am going to come back to your proposed amendment a little bit later.

  7081. MR CAMERON: If we go on, page 59 and following are Crossrail's reasons for not terminating at Ebbsfleet, but terminating at Abbey Wood, and I think I can summarise that by saying that service unreliability was the reason given.[37]38 If we go on to page 65, the solution for that is, to use the expression, a four-track between Slade Green and Dartford.[38]39

  7082. CHAIRMAN: I do not think we need to go into this either because we cannot do anything about it, you see, Mr Cameron.

  7083. MR CAMERON: No, but the reason for putting it in, if I can explain it, is to identify why the Promoters say they have stopped at Abbey Wood and to identify that the Promoters acknowledge that there is a solution.

  7084. CHAIRMAN: I do not think there is any dispute about it. It is timing and cost, is it not?

  7085. MR CAMERON: It is. Can we then go on to the cost point. If you go on to page 81, we have got the cost:benefit analysis. I think these tables were produced by somebody other than you. Is that right, Mr Donovan?

   (Mr Donovan) That is correct.

  7086. But, because there is not a substantive dispute as to this, you produced them?

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7087. MR CAMERON: What I would like you to go to first, without going through all these tables—

  7088. CHAIRMAN: I do not think you need go through all these tables, Mr Cameron. This would be a Transport and Works Act Order and they will be relevant to that.

  7089. MR CAMERON: My Lord, yes. It goes to only one point which is the point made by Lord Young about cost, that there is of course a relationship between benefit and cost. Yes, it might cost £500 million or so at output values, but one has to relate that to the benefits and that there is here a positive benefit:cost ratio which exceeds that for the project as a whole, and that is the point.

  7090. CHAIRMAN: But you have not given us the figures.

  7091. MR CAMERON: We have, my Lord.

  7092. CHAIRMAN: I do not think you have.

  7093. MR CAMERON: Well, can I turn to page 91 which is a summary table and this table indicates the tables that precede it, so you have got the whole scheme at 1.41:1.[39]40 Then, at the time of the Montague Report, with Ebbsfleet, as set out in the Montague Report, extending from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet, that was without the four-tracking, the incremental benefit was at a very high level of 3.21:1. Then a revised economic appraisal of Crossrail. We put in the Woolwich point to give the Committee an indication of the benefit:cost ratio for Woolwich if the station was added, and then Bexley Council's assessment of incremental benefit extending from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet, and the figures are better than for the scheme as a whole, and the basis on which we have arrived at those figures are on page 89.[40]41 They are different figures to the ones produced by the Promoters in their exhibits because the Promoters figures are output values so it is cost anticipated at the time they would be incurred, whereas our figures here are net present values, but we have applied net present values to cost and to benefits, and that is how the benefit:cost ratio has been arrived at.

  7094. CHAIRMAN: Mr Donovan, the Bexley Council's assessment is based upon the extension of Crossrail from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet when?

   (Mr Donovan) As part of the scheme—

  7095. CHAIRMAN: No; when, please? When?

  7096. MR CAMERON: Would you like me to give the answer, because I have just asked the person who did the calculation?

  7097. CHAIRMAN: All right.

  7098. MR CAMERON: It was calculated at the time of opening, so it is not calculated at the time of promoting a Transport and Works Act Order. The reason for that was it was calculated for the proceedings before the other House and at that stage we were asking for it to be added into the scheme at that time, but because it is a net present value, if it goes further forward in time or happens later, the net present value will reduce.

  7099. CHAIRMAN: Yes. That is why I want to know the timescale.

37   38 Committee Ref: A35, CLRL reason for terminating at Abbey Wood (1) (BEXYLB-44_05A-059) Back

38   39 Committee Ref: A35, CLRL reason for terminating at Abbey Wood (7) (BEXYLB-44_05A-065) Back

39   40 Committee Ref: A35, Comparison of Cost/Benefit Ratios (BEXYLB-44_05A-091) Back

40   41 Committee Ref: A35, The Business Case for Ebbsfleet (8) (BEXYLB-44_05A-089) Back

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