Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7260
7260. MS LIEVEN: Next, Mr Berryman, assuming
you were going to do all this work, can we look at Exhibit 4 and
can you just take us through the costs that would be involved?51
(Mr Berryman) Well, the costs are already set
out there, I think, fairly plainly. The outturn costs of doing
the work would be about £560 million, according to our estimates.
That is on the same basis that the project is priced at £16
billion, in other words, it is the outturn. It makes an allowance
for inflation between now and when the work is done, and this
will be based on the work being completed in 2017 which of course,
I think as your Lordships established, would be quite difficult
to do now, but that is just for comparative purposes to be on
the same basis as the £16 billion.
7261. CHAIRMAN: Do you get to Ebbsfleet
I think it would be difficult, my Lord, even if we were to start
tomorrow. The process of getting a Transport and Works Order,
the preparation for that, the actual inquiry and so on and then
the construction work, it would be quite difficult to do that
in that timescale.
7262. MS LIEVEN: Just following up on
that point, Mr Berryman, quite apart from those things you have
just mentioned, because of the operational complexity that you
mentioned earlier, would there have to be negotiations and discussions
with train operators in order to make this proposal work?
Indeed there would, although the discussions would more probably
take place with the ORR who would be responsible for allocating
and adjudicating between timetable allocations in this area. I
think it should be mentioned that, as well as the Crossrail project
and several other things which were mentioned this morning, there
are plans to upgrade London Bridge as part of the Thameslink scheme
and that will allow more trains to get onto this network generally
because London Bridge is one of the constraints on the system
at the moment and, if this were to be four tracks, it would have
several benefits other than just directly for Crossrail.
7263. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Would
that involve also any upgrading of Cannon Street and Blackfriars
because you can only get trains through London Bridge if you shoot
them out somewhere and they have got to go to Cannon Street and
Yes, my Lord, I think Blackfriars is closing this November to
allow it to be completely rebuilt.
7264. And there will be an extension?
(Mr Berryman) There will be.
7265. MS LIEVEN: If we can just stay
on the four-tracking for the moment, can you explain to the Committee
what the current programme for the consideration of safeguarding
for the four-tracking is?
As I think has been mentioned already this morning, we have already
carried out the preliminary consultation with the local authorities
and other interested parties. According to the programme, the
formal consultation starts in early July, and that is a statutory
period of 12 weeks which is required for that. That takes us to
the end of September. After we have finished that consultation,
there are various steps we need to take, but we would expect to
make the safeguarding direction in early December of this year.
7266. CHAIRMAN: This is for four tracks?
For four tracks, my Lord.
7267. And it includes consultation with Bexley?
(Mr Berryman) And it includes consultation
with Bexley, my Lord. We have already had, perhaps we could call
it, `pre-application consultation', though, strictly speaking,
that is not what you should call it, but we have had the informal
7268. MS LIEVEN: Just to be absolutely
clear, Mr Berryman, so that there is no question over the legalities
of this, no decision has been made to four-track yet and we would
have to make that decision in the light of the consultation responses?
Is that right?
No, I would take you further back than that. No decision has been
made to safeguard the four-track. That would need to be made in
the light of the consultation responses. A decision about construction
would be the next stage of the process after that.
7269. I do not know whether you are aware or
not, but have issues been raised, even in just the level of consultation
we have got to already, on the prospect of safeguarding?
(Mr Berryman) There are always issues
in any consultation and there certainly have been issues raised
about land-take and so on and so forth, but, having said that,
I think all the issues that have been raised are soluble with
some additional design work.
7270. Can we then set aside the four-tracking
and just look at what we are proposing in terms of works at Abbey
Wood. In terms of the hybrid Bill scheme, so not going east of
Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet, can you just explain what the benefits
of the Crossrail Bill scheme are to people east of Abbey Wood?
(Mr Berryman) Yes, as you explained very
roughly this morning, the station at Abbey Wood will be a four-track
station with turn-back sidings beyond it, so trains would come
in to one of the centre tracks from the Crossrail network and
the North Kent trains would be on the outer track, so there would
be a pair of tracks running parallel to each other, one with a
Crossrail train on it and one with a North Kent train on it with
a platform between so that passengers can just walk across the
platform to get onto the train they need. The trains would then
go forward through the platform and turn round in the turn-back
sidings and come back on the other platform so that the same movement
could be made in the opposite direction.
7271. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I
do not know whether I am going up the up track or down the down
track, I do not know whether I am on the right track or on the
wrong track, but I will do my best! In the light of the changes
that you are making and things that are happening at London Bridge,
will that improve any service on the North Kent Line and is there
anything that can be done without installing a fourth track that
would improve the service on the North Kent Line?
It is quite difficult to do much without doing something with
these tracks in this area. It was a longstanding aspiration of
British Rail to do this, to try and ease the problems in the area.
When the capacity problems at London Bridge are ameliorated, then
it may be possible to do something, but it will not be anything
very drastic, I do not think.
7272. You will be able to run more trains, more
(Mr Berryman) You may be able to run slightly
more trains through London Bridge.
7273. Longer trains?
(Mr Berryman) I think the platforms are
already 12-car length, although I believe they only run ten cars
at the present time. I am not quite sure of my facts there, but
I think that is the case. Certainly if they are not, they can
be easily extended to 12 cars.
7274. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: They
are running 12 at the peak.
7275. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Why
did the parliamentary statement on the safeguarding of the extension
from Maidenhead to Reading come earlier than the one that is currently
Well, I do not think that it did, my Lord.
7276. Yes, I came on 6 February.
(Mr Berryman) Yes, my Lord, but there
is already safeguarding in existence to Ebbsfleet and indeed beyond
Ebbsfleet to Gravesend.
7277. This was additional land then?
(Mr Berryman) This is additional land,
my Lord. I have to say, the design problems of going to Reading
are much easier to resolve than those in the area we are talking
about here. There are a number of unresolved issues, and I will
not go into the details, but at Gravesend, for example, where
the trains would need to go for stabling, there is an aspiration
of the local authority to reopen the Thames and Medway Canal which
runs alongside the tracks, and there is an Area of Special Scientific
Interest. I have got quite a long list, my Lord, of matters which
need to be resolved. They are all soluble, but it takes time to
do that, to resolve them.
7278. But you would expect us to have these
before us when we are given proposals by an authority that we
should be seeking to amend the Bill?
(Mr Berryman) I believe it is the Petitioner
who is asking you to amend the Bill, not us. We have draft drawings,
but I am afraid they are a work-in-progress at the moment.
7279. Do I take it that you are reasonably optimistic,
given that there are solutions to many of the problems facing
you, that, come December, there is a fair possibility that it
will be safeguarded?
(Mr Berryman) Yes, my Lord, and that is
our programme. We have a reasonably good record of keeping to
programme on these kinds of issues.
50 51 Crossrail Ref: P49 Indicative Cost Estimate for
extension from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet Franchise (BEXYLB-44_04-004) Back