Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 8800 - 8819)

  8800. LORD JONES OF CHELTENHAM: Chairman, this may be a question for you, but it is certainly a question for Mr Elvin. Are we not in the sphere of additional provisions here? Is not what we are being asked to do in our report to make recommendations for what the Committee understand to be additional provisions which the Chairman made a very clear statement on earlier in our deliberations?

  8801. MR ELVIN: My Lord, grateful as I always am for an extra point, I think it would technically be possible to achieve this in some way short of additional provisions, subject to the question of the degree to which the Committee thought you were overriding the ORR's decision. If the Committee were to come to the conclusion that you were being asked to override the ORR's decision, then your Lordship is absolutely right, that you would need an additional provision to have power to amend the ORR's decision, which is something where we have been asked to remove the overriding rail power rights, and you have the Minister's statement, so it would either require an additional provision to do that or the retention of some of the powers which everyone thinks we should delete.

  8802. CHAIRMAN: On the other hand, Mr Elvin, if it is simply a matter of the six infrastructure works that I have on my list, they are in the Bill already.

  8803. MR ELVIN: Which is why I cannot wholeheartedly adopt the helpful suggestion from his Lordship. It may well be possible, depending on the view that your Lordships took, that the mechanism could be dealt with by undertaking rather than any other way.

  8804. CHAIRMAN: Exactly because, if you have given an undertaking on Acton West already, the issue is going to be whether you give undertakings on the other ones.

  8805. MR ELVIN: Indeed, and we await to hear how other Petitioners put the matter, but that is perfectly possible, so we may well not be in additional provisions territory.

  8806. CHAIRMAN: Well, we cannot do additional provisions anyway, but I think probably the matter can be resolved without getting into that realm.

  8807. MR ELVIN: I suspect your Lordship is right. That will not alter my point, my Lord, that what is being sought here is effectively, "We want industry processes to operate to protect us, but, by the way, when it suits us to have security, we would like something else as well", but that is a different point though.

  8808. LORD BERKELEY: My Lord Chairman, just to clarify, we are not looking for additional provisions at all.

  8809. CHAIRMAN: Well, you would not get them.

  8810. LORD BERKELEY: Exactly, and that is why I have said we are not looking for them. All that we would look for is some assurance on those four extra, or five, however one likes to talk about the Airport Junction, assurances that those would get built, and there will be more evidence on that which I shall present this afternoon.

  8811. CHAIRMAN: Well, I expect there will, but I am glad that we have now tied it down to that point because, otherwise, we are going very wide. Is there anything you wanted to ask Mr Bennett?

  8812. LORD BERKELEY: That is all I have to ask Mr Bennett.

  8813. CHAIRMAN: Is Mr Bennett the one needing to get away now?

  8814. LORD BERKELEY: He is the one who has to catch a train, and I think he will catch it. Would you like me to call my next witness, my Lord Chairman?

  8815. CHAIRMAN: No. I think that Mr Bennett can go now and it will probably be beneficial if we break, and I do not know whether we could come back a little bit early, but I think we now need to hear Mr Elvin's introduction, which he would normally have given in the first place, so that we can place some of this in context, and then we will go on with your next witness, if you do not mind. I think that is going to help us more than anything else.

  8816. LORD BERKELEY: I am very happy with that, my Lord Chairman.

  8817. MR ELVIN: Can I just check that your Lordships have a copy—I thought I would give your Lordships my notes because they were longer than usual and they contain excerpts from some of the transcripts I have already read out?

  8818. CHAIRMAN: Yes, we have.

  8819. MR ELVIN: I apologise that there is some gobbledegook which I will point out due to my inability to type at two o'clock in the morning which is a severe handicap, I know.

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