Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 9080 - 9099)

  9080. Those matters in terms of possessions and the like and the impact of other works by other operators is something you have to live with on an everyday basis in the rail industry, is it not?

   (Ms Durham) Yes, we do, but obviously there are different levels of disruption and all we are asking is that the disruption is minimised.

  9081. And there are industry processes for managing that disruption, are there not? The Network Code provides the basis upon which the ORR manages such disruptions.

   (Ms Durham) It does.

  9082. And that is how this is to be dealt with, is it not? Under the Network Code, in the same way as other projects are handled, the ORR will take an objective view and balance the various interests when looking at the issue of possessions under the Network Code?

   (Ms Durham) That is unless you invoke number 41 in the Crossrail Bill.

  9083. Well, I am not going to debate that with you because you are not a lawyer.

   (Ms Durham) I am not a lawyer, but I did hear what you were saying earlier, that that was a way of actually overriding the possession proposals.

  9084. That is not what I said earlier, you misunderstood that, Ms Durham, but, forgive me, I will not go over that with you and I will make further submissions on it as is necessary, but we are in agreement that the issues of possessions and disruption are matters which are managed under the Network Code and that is what is proposed for Crossrail now, is it not?

   (Ms Durham) That is correct.

  9085. The only addition is the Olympic duty to make sure that the ORR has the additional duty to take into account facilitating Crossrail construction, not overriding, but just take it into account when weighing the various other considerations under the Railways Act. I do not assume that that is controversial so far as you are concerned?

   (Ms Durham) No, if the clauses are the same as the Olympic clauses, then we are happy with that.

  9086. MR ELVIN: Thank you very much.

Re-examined by LORD BERKELEY

  9087. LORD BERKELEY: My Lord Chairman, perhaps I could re-examine Ms Durham on the one issue, the last one about clause 41. I am not a lawyer either, but I certainly understood what Mr Elvin said about the need for clause 41 which was to direct—

  9088. CHAIRMAN: I am not sure that we have actually got to the bottom of clause 41 yet. I think we are going to have it, but am I not right in saying that you are going to come back tomorrow?

  9089. LORD BERKELEY: I was going to come back on what, I think, my Lord Chairman, is going to be Thursday now, or whichever date it is. I would just ask Ms Durham to confirm that the reason that she has asked for these various things on that slide is at least in part because clause 41 is still there. Is that your view, Ms Durham?

  9090. CHAIRMAN: Well, I do not think that she can possibly answer that question; it is purely a matter of law.

  9091. LORD BERKELEY: Thank you, my Lord Chairman. Thank you, Ms Durham.


  9092. LORD SNAPE: On this slide we have up at the moment, the first line, "only close 2 out of the 4 rail lines on each route at any time", I seemed to get the inference from what you were saying that you felt that, as two of the lines would be, to use your words, "owned by Transport for London", there might be a much greater problem of access for freight in the event of the other two lines being closed. Was that your intention?

   (Ms Durham) That is correct. These four lines exist now and they are all owned by Network Rail and, as I say, Network Rail manage it in a way that two are always open. I would be gravely concerned if they were managed by two separate companies. Firstly, we would have to try and negotiate between the two and I do not know how it would work.

  9093. LORD SNAPE: Sure, I understand. I thought Mr Elvin had indicated, however, in his last exchange with you that that was not the case.

  9094. MR ELVIN: My Lord, can I say that Transport for London will not be the infrastructure manager for the Gospel Oak-Barking lines—

  9095. LORD SNAPE: No, that is not what we are talking about.

  9096. MR ELVIN: Sorry, Great Western, I do apologise.

  9097. LORD SNAPE: No, it is not Great Western either.

  9098. MR ELVIN: I am sorry, I have at least 15 people whispering different things in my ear!

  9099. LORD SNAPE: Well, listen to me and I will whisper it to you! Of the four lines, two of which will form the Crossrail tracks once Crossrail is completed, I think Ms Durham's point is that, if TfL have sole responsibility for the Crossrail lines, it would be difficult, again to paraphrase it, for freight to use it in the event of the other two lines being closed.

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