Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7180 - 7199)

  7180. CHAIRMAN: So you are assuming that nothing changes between 2001 and, say, 2020 in terms of population and working population?

  7181. MR CAMERON: My Lord, that is right because it gives a rough indication as to how many people you can get to. Your Lordship is absolutely right; no assumption made is to changing population elsewhere in London.

  7182. CHAIRMAN: It might be very rough, might it not?

  7183. MR CAMERON: My Lord, it will only be rough if there were very, very substantial changes in population across a densely developed urban area. There will be some changes but they will not be that substantial.

  7184. CHAIRMAN: I do not want to go on pestering you about this, but the fact of the matter is that Crossrail is not the only thing that is happening in this area; there is the whole of the Thames Gateway plan which is going to be implemented. It will be implemented with effect on houses, population, jobs and so on, at various stages up to 2020. None of that is built into any of these figures.

  7185. MR CAMERON: My Lord, that is right, but of course this is looking west, and although part of the Thames Gateway is to the west most of that new housing will be to the east.

  7186. CHAIRMAN: Precisely, so it is all the more relevant to the question of Crossrail.

  7187. MR CAMERON: My Lord, yes, but not to these figures here, because what this is looking at, and it is shown on the map at page 50, is accessibility to the west. Most of the development is going to happen to the east of Abbey Wood in the Thames Gateway.[45]46

  7188. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I am willing to accept that—if you will pardon the pun—you have got the direction of travel right, but I have still got a doubt in my mind about the fact that the waiting time and the penalties that you have calculated assume no other improvements to those lines. In other words, without the Crossrail option nothing else is going to happen between now and, let us say, the opening of Crossrail, although when we listen to Mr Donovan there were other things that possibly could happen in terms of transit, etc, that might impact on this.

  7189. MR CAMERON: My Lord, yes. This relates specifically to rail travel. The North Kent line—I do not want to use the wrong word—is a busy line with limited opportunities for improvement, which is precisely the reason that Crossrail do not want to rely on it, because they say it is unreliable. Therefore, there are not many opportunities without substantial infrastructure works on the North Kent line.

   (Mr Donovan) Can I make one other comment? I do not know if it helps. I think, also, if there were other improvements that changed the figures they kind of change the figures for whatever you were comparing. So they change the base figure as well. In fact, what this is doing is a comparison, and if there were significant changes that, for example, increased the population that were accessible that would be there on either of the two runs you did. So the comparison would still be similar even though the actual figures may have changed in the 20 years—if you see what I mean. The key to this is the increase line, is it not? It is showing the difference between the two.


   (Mr Donovan) So if you changed the base population, say, because London has increased and the actual numbers increased, they would increase on both scenarios. So the change may well be the same, albeit that the data may be a little different.

  7191. That is not the point I was referring to, actually.

   (Mr Donovan) But I think the schemes I mentioned, most of those would be to the east of Abbey Wood because they are about affecting the situation in Bexley.

  7192. CHAIRMAN: Is that all you wanted to ask Mr Donovan?

  7193. MR CAMERON: It is, thank you, my Lord.

  7194. CHAIRMAN: Ms Lieven, have you got any questions?

  7195. MS LIEVEN: I have got a few questions, my Lord, but I am going to keep them very short and largely leave the matter for Mr Berryman.

Cross-examined by MS LIEVEN

  7196. MS LIEVEN: Mr Donovan, just so we are clear, so I can establish I do not have to ask you lots of detailed questions, am I right in thinking that you accept that even if Crossrail simply stops at Abbey Wood there would be clear benefit to passengers to the east of Abbey Wood both in terms of time savings and in terms of journey quality, if I can put it like that?

   (Mr Donovan) Yes, absolutely. We have always said that.

  7197. You have cited this figure of 15 minutes waiting at Abbey Wood, but in terms of people in the peak hour going into work, either to the West End or to the City, the average waiting time, if you get on your train at Belvedere and you get off at Abbey Wood to interchange with Crossrail, is two-and-a-half minutes.

   (Mr Donovan) That would be for people going in.

  7198. That is what I am talking about: you are going in in the morning to your average job in the City or in the West End and your average waiting time is two-and-a-half minutes.

   (Mr Donovan) I understand there are some industry standards as to what is accepted, as to how you actually show that, but the average waiting time would be of that order. It is going to be shorter than the 15; the 15 is looking at it in the other direction.

  7199. Yes. Going in in the morning, an average of two-and-a-half minutes. Coming out in the evening, 15 is the worst case; the average is seven-and-a-half minutes. Yes?

   (Mr Donovan) Yes. Obviously it will vary, but yes.

45   46 Committee Ref: A35, Population & Employment west of Belvedere (6) (BEXYLB-44_05A-050) Back

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