Examination of Witnesses (Questions 8940
8940. LORD SNAPE: My Lord Chairman, are
we going to have a debate on the economic policy under this or
any future government, or shall we talk about the matters before
8941. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: We are
having a debate about the feasibility of what this plan is.
8942. LORD SNAPE: With respect, that
is not in the Bill, is it?
8943. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: It is
not in the Bill but it is also underlying what is actually being
said here. I am just trying, legitimately, to see what the philosophy
has been that has gone into the construction of these assumptions.
It is a big plan they have; I am entitled to ask. I have no more
questions on it.
8944. CHAIRMAN: Just before we leave
this, I have another, different point. The money that you are
committing to the rail network, is this going to include any of
the gauge improvements?
(Mr Cann) Yes, it does. There are gauge
improvements up to Peterborough from Felixstowe.
8945. The Peterborough-Nuneaton?
(Mr Cann) From Felixstowe to Peterborough,
8946. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: Have
you drawn up a list of all the improvements you are going to make,
or will you retain some flexibility?
(Mr Cann) Thank you for asking that question.
There is no flexibility whatsoever. Our commitments are 100 per
cent. We did not get planning permission by making vague promises.
Our planning permission is based upon making firm, costed and
8947. So I can give a little weight to Lord
James's point. Are you saying that you really are committed to
precise uplifts and you would not vary, in the light of experience,
(Mr Cann) That is 100 per cent true, my
Lord, and I can show you the drawings of the things that we are
currently building, will be building and are actually in the process
of being designed with Network Rail. It is 100 per cent committed
8948. LORD BERKELEY: Is this not a further
commitment to the planning authority that you have to do this
and demonstrate that you have done it before you can actually
sign it all off?
(Mr Cann) Yes.
8949. That is the difference.
(Mr Cann) Yes. The difference isand
this is one of our criticisms of the Crossrail Billthat
Crossrail are saying they may do some infrastructure improvements.
That was not good enough for our developments; that was not good
enough for our competitors' developments. The various local authorities,
various agencies and the Strategic Rail Authority before the DfT
required us absolutely to give the commitment to what we would
do, and we would expect no less. That is what we have done.
8950. You have a schedule of all the works,
as part of the section 106 agreement, that you have to stick to.
Is that right?
(Mr Cann) Yes.
8951. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: When
does this take place? What is the timescale?
(Mr Cann) There are various commitments
but the vast bulk of the works, which is the £48 million
tranche of works, will be committed by 2014, and there is actually
a backstop date within the section 106 commitment which says we
cannot, in effect, operate our port without doing those works.
8952. CHAIRMAN: I think the sanctions
as between these requirements by the local planning authorities
and what can be done on infrastructure on the railway are very
different because the planning authorities, presumably, are relying
on section 106 agreements, which would have to be enforced by
the courts, whereas the infrastructure you were talking about
earlier is enforced by the ORR simply saying: "You are not
going to get an access option".
(Mr Cann) My Lord Chairman, I am not an
expert on the role of the ORR. What I do understand, however,
is that it is in your gift, in effect, in your deliberations here
to take a view as to what you think is appropriate. The ORR is
not making its decisions for you. In a sense, I would say, you
are making the decisions for the ORR. There are two parallel processes
going on here, both of which have to be gone through. The ORR
process has been gone through and your process is now being gone
through. The ORR, as I understand it, shares out the capacity;
you can decide to increase that capacity or mitigate the effect
that we say Crossrail is going to make.
8953. LORD BERKELEY: Would you have been
happy if you had the same conditions applied to you as Crossrail
are arguing for, saying: "We will guarantee we will give
you so much extra traffic as an option agreement but we will decide
later and agree with you later what enhancements may be necessary
to achieve that"?
(Mr Cann) My
shareholder would have been delighted.
8954. You would probably have saved quite a
lot of money.
(Mr Cann) At the moment I say to my shareholder:
"We are committed to £130 million of rail works"
and if that had been the case I could say: "We are committed
to up to £130 million of rail works, but potentially very
little at all".
8955. Mr Cann, I think we will go very quickly
through the last slide, which is number 13, showing where these
container trains will go, because it is relevant to the fact that
I believe some of them go on the Great Eastern.
Can you just explain this slide?
(Mr Cann) You will hear evidence later that
will give a lot more detail about what is going on in London and
our concerns there. What this slide is here to demonstrate isfor
those that are not awarehow much of the traffic from the
Haven port is actually going through London. For example, if you
take the 2014 figureand that is, again, a figure that was
presented at the FSR public inquiry that has been acceptedit
said that eight trains from 2014 will be going via the East Coast
main line and 23 via the West Coast main line; they would have
to go through London. It is just really to give you an overview
of where the issue is, and the issue, at the moment, is that the
majority of our trains go through London. As far as the evidence
that was accepted at our public inquiry is concerned, that will
8956. Could you just explain, finally, if for
any reason this growth in rail freight traffic does not occur,
how many extra lorries will be on the roads leading to Felixstowe,
Tilbury and Thames Gateway?
(Mr Cann) You will forgive me if I cannot
give you an exact answer, but the total at the bottom there of
83 trains per day would equate to approximately 5,000 lorry movements
a day on the A12, A13, A14 and then moving on to the other routes.
8957. LORD BERKELEY: Thank you, Mr Cann.
I have no further questions.
Cross-examined by MR
8958. MR ELVIN: Mr Cann, Gospel Oak to
Barkingthose improvements are already sanctioned, are they
(Mr Cann) I
understand they are committed.
8959. They are required, as I understand it,
whether Crossrail goes ahead or not. The TIF was announced, I
think, while we were in the House of Commons Select Committee.
(Mr Cann) They have been committed to,
regardless of Crossrail.
25 Committee Ref: A52, Container Trains on or across
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