Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7200 - 7219)

  7200. Just taking that particular issue, when we look at your exhibit 49, which is the slightly surprising conclusion that because you get on the train at Belvedere rather than Abbey Wood your population has suddenly gone up from 1.1 million to 4 million, which is a surprising conclusion, that is because you have based it on the figure of waiting for 15 minutes additional time.[46]47 So you have pushed 2.9 million people out of the 45-minute catchment area for the City and the West End. You have taken 15 minutes, have you not?

  (Mr Donovan) Those were not my tables.

  7201. You have taken the absolutely worst case of the person who is travelling out of London in the evening and who has to wait for the maximum amount of time.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes. Also, of course, part of the whole regeneration we are looking at is to develop opportunities in Bexley where we would be wanting people to come in the other direction. All that you have described is about, shall we say, the more traditional movement, morning peak into London and evening peak coming out of London, but of course people wanting to access jobs in Bexley in the morning peak will have, whatever the figures, a significantly longer wait to catch a train going eastwards.

  7202. You have placed a great deal of emphasis in your regeneration evidence (and I am certainly not going to go into it in detail) on job creation in Ebbsfleet, in particular, and the potential for regeneration around Ebbsfleet.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7203. Can I put up our exhibit 3, please, because there is one part of the transport infrastructure improvement to Ebbsfleet which you have not mentioned at all?[47]48 That is, that it is right, is it not, that it is not just proposed, it is going to happen from December 2009, that there is going to be a high-speed domestic service from Ebbsfleet straight into St Pancras, which will take 15 minutes from Ebbsfleet into St Pancras, on the CTRL, high-speed line.

  (Mr Donovan) Yes, for the domestic services to the east of Ebbsfleet.

  7204. For the domestic services east of Ebbsfleet but going west—it is obviously not on this plan because it is nothing to do with Crossrail—stopping at Stratford and then going straight on to St Pancras.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7205. You have made no reference to that infrastructure improvement in your evidence whatsoever, have you?

   (Mr Donovan) No, because it is not relevant. Not to Bexley, because those trains are only going to be coming in from further east of Ebbsfleet, so you are going to have to travel outwards from Bexley to stop at the station there and then interchange backwards.

  7206. Can I just understand that? Bexley's concern is not with the jobs and people of Ebbsfleet because they fall outside Bexley. Is that right? I rather thought from your evidence that you were talking about regeneration generally.

   (Mr Donovan) We are obviously not suggesting that people in Ebbsfleet will not get a highly improved accessibility to London, including to the stations east of Ebbsfleet once the ability comes on to put domestic services along the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

  7207. As far as the Committee are concerned about the regeneration benefits around Ebbsfleet itself, they can draw considerable comfort from the fact that by the end of next year there will be a 15-minute service direct from Ebbsfleet into King's Cross St Pancras which will be available to anybody currently using the Ebbsfleet service.

   (Mr Donovan) Anybody able to get into Ebbsfleet will be able to use that.

  7208. For people in the intermediate stations, between Ebbsfleet and Abbey Wood, they will have the choice, if they want to do it, of travelling east to Ebbsfleet and getting on to the CTRL domestic into St Pancras.

   (Mr Donovan) They would have that option. We do not know about the pricing structure of that, but that would be—

  7209. They will have that option.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7210. MS LIEVEN: Thank you. The other infrastructure upgrade which I do not think you have mentioned, although again that may be because it falls outside the boundaries of Bexley (and I am afraid I have not got the date but it is very soon—within the next 12 months) is that there will be a DLR service from Woolwich Arsenal going under the river up to the Isle of Dogs.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7211. We talked about accessibility from Ebbsfleet direct into St Pancras (and I do not need to go through the London Underground map as to where you can get to from St Pancras), but in terms of people, say, in Slade Green or Belvedere who want to access jobs in Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs, they will have the additional potential from, I think, later this year to go to Woolwich Arsenal and then make a direct connection on to the DLR and go up to Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs.

   (Mr Donovan) Yes.

  7212. Just finally, when we look at your accessibility map, if we look at 50, in terms of the employment areas which are accessible to people from Belvedere, or indeed from further east down to Ebbsfleet, within 45 minutes, it is appropriate to take into account those two major and fully committed transport improvements, is it not?[48]49

  (Mr Donovan) Yes. They would have some impact on accessibility positively, yes, but of course this was about doing comparisons through Crossrail.

  7213. Just so the Committee has no doubt about that, both of the improvements that I have talked about, they are not just funded they are both well under progress in terms of actually being built, are they not?

   (Mr Donovan) Yes, DLR is very nearly there, and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, obviously, is more about how the service configuration will be done.

  7214. MS LIEVEN: The infrastructure is there, it is just about sorting out the train services for next year. Thank you very much, Mr Donovan.

  7215. CHAIRMAN: Mr Cameron, have you got any final questions?

  7216. MR CAMERON: Thank you, my Lord; very few.

Re-examined by MR CAMERON

  7217. MR CAMERON: Mr Donovan, you were asked about Ebbsfleet and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link service to St Pancras, and you agreed that anybody who was able to get to Ebbsfleet would have that option. If one travels on the North Kent line towards Ebbsfleet, is there a direct interchange with the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link service?

  (Mr Donovan) No.

  7218. What happens when you get to Ebbsfleet?
  (Mr Donovan) From my recollection of it you would have to get off by train at Northfleet Station and make a link down from there. That will link in in the future. I am not quite sure because it is not my area, of the detail of linkage there, but basically there is no direct link.

  7219. So how do you get from Northfleet to Ebbsfleet?

   (Mr Donovan) Currently probably by fast-track. I think there are proposals that the two will be linked eventually.

46   47 Committee Ref: A35, Population & Employment west of Belvedere (5) (BEXYLB-44_05A-049) Back

47   48 Crossrail Ref: P49, North Kent Lines-Proposed Service Pattern if Crossrail is extended to Ebbsfleet (BEXYLB-44_04-003) Back

48   49 Committee Ref: A35, Population & Employment west of Belvedere (6) (BEXYLB-44_05A-050) Back

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