Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 7420 - 7439)

  7420. CHAIRMAN: So they could not say it ought to go another way.

  7421. MR CAMERON: If the way was set by the resolution they could not say that, yes, my Lord. That is one of the objectives we seek to achieve to make it easier for the Secretary of State if she comes forward with this proposal. We are trying to assist her, but she does not seem to wish that assistance. My Lords, I do not think there is anything else I can add.

  7422. CHAIRMAN: We are very grateful to you. Thank you so much, Mr Cameron. I do not think the fact that it has taken us a little longer than might have been expected has done any harm whatever; you have clarified a great deal of ground.

  7423. MR CAMERON: Thank you, my Lord.

  7424. CHAIRMAN: I believe there is one of the Petitioners who wants to read out a statement.

The Petition of Mr Roy Carrier

  7425. MS LIEVEN: Yes.

  7426. CHAIRMAN: I am sure we can fit that in this afternoon.

The following Petition against the Bill was read:

The Petition of Mr Roy Carrier.

The Petitioner appeared in person.

  7427. MS LIEVEN: Mr Carrier is towards the back of the room. I will let Mr Cameron move his papers. My Lord, while Mr Carrier is organising his papers shall I make a very brief factual opening?

  7428. CHAIRMAN: So long as he can concentrate on both at once.

The Petition of Mr Roy Carrier

  7429. MS LIEVEN: Is that all right, Mr Carrier? Thank you.

  7430. CHAIRMAN: Do remember, Ms Lieven, we did not know this was going to happen today, so explain it to us.

  7431. MS LIEVEN: I did not realise that, my Lord. I will explain it. Mr Carrier is a resident in the area of Belvedere, which your Lordships have just been hearing about. So it is the next station to the east from Abbey Wood. So we are, at least, still concerned with the area of south-east London, so there is a little bit of geographical consistency here—which is better than we normally manage!

  7432. Mr Carrier's concern is the traffic of a number of schemes in the area and the cumulative impact of those, including the Crossrail proposal at Abbey Wood. So his concern is one about traffic. In particular, as I understand it, his main concern is the impact of the Thames Gateway Bridge on the highway network.

  7433. CHAIRMAN: Have we got any plans that show all this?

  7434. MS LIEVEN: I am about to show it, my Lord. If we can put up 003, what we have here—I am sorry we have had to merge different plans so it is not quite as straightforward as it might be—the purple is Crossrail, and the end of the purple is Abbey Wood Station.[63]64 Belvedere is off to the east. What we have marked on here in dark red is the Thames Gateway Bridge, which is a proposal for a new Thames crossing being promoted by Transport for London. The position on the Thames Gateway Bridge is that the application was considered at an inquiry last year by an inspector and Mr Carrier appeared at that inquiry and was one of a number of objectors. The Secretary of State has decided, in the light of what happened at the inquiry and the Inspector's report, not to make a decision on the bridge at this stage but to ask for further information on the traffic implications of the bridge, and she is intending to reconvene the inquiry at a later date when she has that further information.

  7435. So there are a lot of issues, if I can put it like that, about traffic and the Thames Gateway Bridge, which have nothing to do with Crossrail but are by no means straightforward. There can be no doubt that the Thames Gateway Bridge is going to have traffic implications on south-east London; the scale of those implications is a subject of fierce debate, but that there will be impact is not.

  7436. On the other hand, the traffic impacts of Crossrail at Abbey Wood are relatively slight. There will be impacts but they are relatively slight. In essence, my Lords, the majority of people using Abbey Wood—so not the interchangers who you have heard a lot about today but the majority of people going to and leaving Abbey Wood itself—will either come on foot, or by bus, but there will be some people driving. Some of those will drive and park and some of those will do what is known in the trade as "kiss and ride"—i.e. be dropped off. I am never sure whether it is the kisser or the rider who will go off somewhere else. However, the level of traffic impact is, as I said, relatively limited, partly because there is relatively limited car parking at Abbey Wood, both in terms of on-street parking, where there is a CPZ (which I can show you in a minute if I need to) and limited surface level parking. So there is an inevitable constraint on the numbers of people who will drive.

  7437. The highway authority in the area is, of course, the London Borough of Bexley, from whom you have just heard, and Bexley have been concerned about traffic impacts. I do not want to suggest that there is no concern about it, but we have reached agreement with Bexley, and it is recorded in our undertaking number 153, which I have just put up, that further work will be done on the subject.[64]65 If I can just take you through that undertaking: "The Promoter agrees to continue discussions with the London Borough of Bexley, in consultation with the London Borough of Greenwich" (the Committee will remember that Greenwich is just a little to the west) "with a view to agreeing the highway improvements that may be necessary to mitigate the impact of the Crossrail scheme associated with passengers arriving and departing from Abbey Wood Station. The Promoter will fund reasonable transport measures that are agreed by the London Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Bexley and the Promoter to be reasonably necessary in order to mitigate the impact of the Crossrail project as a result of passengers arriving at and departing from Abbey Wood Station."

  7438. So there we have the highway authority and, indeed, the next highway authority down—that is Greenwich—being content with the situation of further discussions and improvements to be made if they are accepted to be reasonably necessary as a consequence of Crossrail. In my submission, that is sufficient for this Committee's purposes. You have got the highway authority happy that further work is the way to sort this problem out, if there is a problem, then in my submission that should be the end of it.

  7439. CHAIRMAN: How does this undertaking fit in with the new Gateway Bridge?

63   64 Committee Ref: A38, Crossrail and Thames Gateway Bridge-Proposed Alignments (BEXYLB-4_04-003) Back

64   65 Crossrail Ref: P48, Crossrail Register of Undertakings and Assurances No. 153 (SCN-20080401-005) Back

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