Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7120 - 7139)

  7120. MR CAMERON: It depends on the precise assumptions made but it will not make a material difference.

  7121. CHAIRMAN: I see.

  7122. MR CAMERON: My Lord, as I understand it, and this is on page 92, the Promoters do not dispute the broad picture presented by these benefit:cost ratio figures, and it is in the last sentence before the "Yours faithfully". "The broad picture was not disputed and that remains the case", and the broad picture is, and Ms Lieven will correct me if I am wrong but I think she said this in opening, that the extension to Ebbsfleet has a better or broadly similar benefit:cost ratio than the line as a whole, and that is an agreed position, and, therefore, what Bexley are asking for in terms of cost and benefit is broadly equivalent—Bexley would say "better" but agreed to be broadly equivalent—to the rest of Crossrail, and that takes into account benefits and cost.[42]43

  7123. CHAIRMAN: Very well.

  7124. MR CAMERON: I will try and provide more detail on the precise assumptions but I do not anticipate—

  7125. CHAIRMAN: Have you got a lot more questions for Mr Donovan? I think Lord Brooke wants to ask a question.

  7126. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: I would really like to pick up on the latest state of play. On 6 February the Minister in the other Place stated that they had safeguarded the route from Maidenhead through to Reading but they were still out on consultations on safeguarding the route to Ebbsfleet and would continue to discuss this matter with Crossrail, London Rail Links, and the relevant local authorities further. Could you say if you are involved with those consultations and what is the latest state of play, and whether, in fact, there have been exchanges similar to those we have been having this morning about employment prospects?

  7127. MR CAMERON: Mr Donovan, I am going to hand that one to you.

   (Mr Donovan) I have not been involved and do not know the details of it, but we will have been consulted as the local planning authority as part of the planning process. I could check for you and come back on it, unless one of my colleagues knows the up-to-date position more than I do.

  7128. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: I was just wondering whether you knew there was anything imminent from those consultations, because it does have an effect on what we might say with regard to your Petition to us.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7129. CHAIRMAN: Well, you say "yes", but the answer is "I do not know".

   (Mr Donovan) My answer is "I do not know but I can check".

  7130. CHAIRMAN: And it leads me to this, Mr Cameron and Mr Donovan: you are asking us to take a very firm view on the lines of your Option 1, in other words actively to promote a Transport and Works Act Order to extend the Crossrail route to Ebbsfleet. Now, have we got any figures beyond 2016 on the basis of which Bexley would benefit or, indeed, for all I know Dartford and areas further to the east? Have we any figures at all in your papers which would indicate what those benefits would be? I do not know whether it would be possible to bring an extension under the TWA forward earlier than the opening date of the railway to Abbey Wood, I simply do not know, but, if it were possible to bring it forward, have we got figures for any intermediate time periods of what the benefit would be in terms of jobs, houses, access to the Thames Gateway and so on? I cannot see anything in your papers to speak of which helps us.

  7131. MR CAMERON: Mr Donovan, do you want to answer that?

   (Mr Donovan) I think the answer is "No" beyond that which we have already given you today.

  7132. CHAIRMAN: Beyond 2016 nothing?

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7133. CHAIRMAN: Very well.

  7134. MR CAMERON: We have that but the basis on which the figures are calculated are the Crossrail Business Case figures which directly relate accessibility to employment opportunities to enhanced accessibility—

  7135. CHAIRMAN: Where are those? Are they in your papers?

  7136. MR CAMERON: They are the figures in the papers which are on pages 40 and following and those are based on a Business Case working paper which is referred to in the footnote to that page, pages 41 and 42, and that is what is known as Business Case Working Paper 6.2.[43]44

  7137. CHAIRMAN: And what is the date assumed for the extension to Ebbsfleet?

  7138. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, I think I can answer that most appropriately, and I am only trying to help Mr Cameron, my Lord, because it is our document originally. This would have assumed an opening date of 2013 including the extension, the Ebbsfleet part.

  7139. CHAIRMAN: And that must now be unrealistic?

42   43 Committee Ref: A35, Works to existing North Kent Line (BEXYLB-44_05A-092) Back

43   44 Committee Ref: A35, Benefits of Crossrail 1(BEXYLB-44_05A-040); Benefits of Crossrail 2: Accessibility and time savings (BEXYLB-44_05A-041); and Benefits of Crossrail 3: Increase in employment (unweighted) (BEXYLB-44_05A-042) Back

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