Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 8635 - 8639)

  8635. CHAIRMAN: Lord Berkeley, as I understand it, you have a witness who has to get away by lunchtime. I do not think Mr Elvin is going to need to tell us a great deal about the access option and that sort of thing on which we have had a good deal of discussion already. If you can get this introduced fairly quickly so that your witness can tell us what he has to say, then I think it would suit everybody and we will not necessarily stop on the dot of one, if that is not convenient, but it is important that he should be heard.

The Petitions of the Freight Transport Association Ltd; The Rail Freight Group; Freightliner Group Ltd; Mendip Rail Ltd; Quarry Products Association Ltd; Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd; The Felixstowe Dock & Railway Company; Harwich International Port Ltd; and Maritime Transport Services Ltd

  8636. MR ELVIN: My Lord, I was in fact going to open at some length and I have had, I hope, distributed to the members of the Committee copies of a written version of what I am going to say. There are some complex issues coming up and I am slightly concerned that the Committee is going to start hearing evidence without a proper explanation of those issues. I appreciate the issues and Lord Berkeley and I have been talking about them already. It may well be that the simplest thing to do is for me actually to deliver this after lunch and for Lord Berkeley to make his case with regards to this witness.

  8637. CHAIRMAN: It might help to know what the witness is going to be tell us about.

  8638. LORD BERKELEY: My Lord Chairman, the first two witnesses I was going to call from the Freight Transport Association and the Rail Freight Group will be talking about things that have little to do with the access option, honestly. They are going to give a background to rail freight and freight generally in this country which I think is very important to develop as part of our case, but I do not think it really will be affected by anything Mr Elvin is going to say, so his suggestion, if I could introduce the first two witnesses from the FTA and the Rail Freight Group before lunch, I am sure there will be time for adequate cross-examination then and maybe Mr Elvin could deliver his introduction after lunch.

  8639. MR ELVIN: My introduction is dealing with how to deal with infrastructure issues and capacity issues, it is dealing with blocking rights and it is dealing with certain other issues that are going to arise. The access option is touched upon clearly because the role of the ORR, we say, is an important one when you are considering the remaining issues on the Petitions, but I quite understand that Lord Berkeley needs to call his witnesses and, if your Lordships would allow me to present my opening slightly later after lunch, then—

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