Examination of Witnesses (Questions 8780
8780. They do not, do they? You have not seen
anything in them which, if you delete the clauses that we have
said are going to be deleted, specifically provides for an amendment
to the Schedule 4 powers.
(Mr Bennett): No.
8781. They will not allow an arbitrator to override
the ORR and amend the access option, will they?
(Mr Bennett): No.
8782. So they cannot interfere with the terms
imposed on the access option imposed by the ORR?
(Mr Bennett): Thank you for that clarification.
8783. MR ELVIN: That is what the Minister
said at the Third Reading, I believe. Do you therefore accept
my propositionand I will sit down once you have accepted
it!that you are asking this Committee now to depart from
those very industry processes which you have urged on this Committee
and the Committee in the other Place is the proper way to deal
with this matter. Do you agree with that? I am right, are not
I? Please say "Yes".
8784. LORD SNAPE: Is that not known as
leading the witness?
8785. MR ELVIN: I am allowed to lead
8786. CHAIRMAN: It is Lord Berkeley who
cannot and he has been doing it copiously throughout!
8787. MR ELVIN: My Lord, I was too polite
to mention it! Mr Bennett, it is right, that this is a point at
which in fact you are asking the Committee to actually do something
outside those industry practices?
We are looking for specific commitments.
8788. MR ELVIN: Would you say yes to
8789. CHAIRMAN: Well, are we able to
8790. MR ELVIN: My Lord, I am going to
make submissions that it would be difficult to do so because,
without an amendment to the Bill, taking out the powers that we
are proposing to take out at the public bill stage, there will
be no power to direct any change in the access option.
8791. CHAIRMAN: Well, I think you will
have to tell us what you think our powers are.
8792. MR ELVIN: I will do so.
In which case, may I say yes.
8793. MR ELVIN: Mr Bennett, that is very
fair and thank you very much.
Re-examined by LORD
8794. LORD BERKELEY: If I could just
clarify one point, would you agree that in fact what you and other
Petitioners are looking for on this particular issue is not to
remove industry processes because you and other Petitioners have
accepted it, but it is to have a second line of defence, if you
like, because of the uncertainties, and I will be asking other
witnesses later this afternoon
8795. CHAIRMAN: That really is a leading
question and you are not allowed to do that in re-examination.
With respect, my Lord Chairman, he does not need to lead. The
whole thrust of what I have been trying to say, and, I have to
say, I was not expecting to respond on these issues, was that
we are looking for the protection of normal industry processes
in circumstances where we have perceived there to be some risk
as to their applicability. Now, if the exchanges with Mr Elvin
have clarified that, that has been helpful.
8796. CHAIRMAN: Well, I am not sure that
it has. I still have other members of the Committee who want to
Examined by THE
8797. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: I am
going to say to you, Mr Bennett, that for the last hour and a
half I think what we have listened to is a presentation aimed
at achieving a lot of what we would call "nice-to-have things"
which you might get opportunistically on the back of Crossrail,
but which have actually got no variation from the normal commercial
decisions of an investment policy to run any business in this
My Lord, no, we are looking for the security to run that business
that we would have been able to run under normal circumstances
without the Crossrail project, and indeed that is the whole basis.
I think there would be no dispute with the Promoters of the Crossrail
Bill. As Mr Elvin said, it is not a Bill to provide a general
increase in capacity for the rail industry. The Promoters have,
in fairness, said that what we will seek to do is to provide the
rail capacity for freight equivalent to that which would have
been available without their project.
8798. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: In that
case, Lord Berkeley, if that is the case, I think that the continuation
of this presentation by yourself would be of great benefit to
everybody's advantage if we were to be allowed to have concentration
on the issues which matter in the definition that Mr Bennett has
just given us and not lose them in the thickness and undergrowth
which we have been swamped with for the last hour and a half on
issues for which you do not appear to have an application.
8799. LORD BERKELEY: I am very grateful
for that clarification. Maybe we can look at that in this afternoon's
evidence more than if we carry on now.