Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10060 - 10079)

  10060. It must therefore be right that most of the works associated with Crossrail result in changes to layout of configuration of the network and so will fall into paragraph (a) of this definition?
  (Mr Oatway) I do not doubt that for one minute.

  10061. Therefore, most of the speed restrictions and the like that you raise your concerns about will relate to changes in or to any part of the network falling within the definition of network change and so, therefore, will be compensatable whether or not there for a day or six years.
  (Mr Oatway) Yes, I am not concerned about the most, it is the others which fall within the definition of (b).

  10062. It is (b), it is changes to the operation of the network which arise as a result of Crossrail but not from changes relating to the layout or configuration or condition of the network that you are concerned with?
  (Mr Oatway) Yes, can I give an example?

  10063. Yes, please.
  (Mr Oatway) For example, if an over bridge is being affected, which is not part of the network, it may cause speed restrictions to be placed on the railway below which is not being affected, which is not part of the network change. There might be temporary restrictions in place while the work is going on on the bridge above to ensure the safety of the workers working on that bridge. Those speed restrictions would slow down any trains going underneath and therefore delay them potentially, lose their paths further on on the network. That is what the (b)(ii) is saying. If those disruptions do not last for six months, then they are not compensatable under the network change.

  10064. The network change provisions at the moment in respect of that sort of example are defined in paragraph (b) and we can see that where there are changes to the operation of the network to accommodate the sorts of works that you have just given an example of, in order for compensation to be attracted the work will be likely to last for more than six months.
  (Mr Oatway) The change to the operation of the network has to last for more than six months.

  10065. A present, if Network Rail wanted to do some repair to a bridge and it took three or four months, no train operator would be compensated for losses associated with that sort of work?
  (Mr Oatway) Not under the network change, no.

  10066. That is because the industry process accepts, does it not, that works of that nature should not attract compensation?
  (Mr Oatway) Not under network change, no, not normal day-to-day works undertaken by Network Rail to renew and maintain its network.

  10067. That is because the industry recognises that there has to be an element of give and take between the train operating companies and those who need to carry out work to the network to enable it to continue to operate.
  (Mr Oatway) Yes.

  10068. Let us move on to the next point. You also raised concerns about Schedule 4 and Schedule 8.

  10069. CHAIRMAN: Mr Taylor, before you leave that point, on the Great Western Main Line there is going to have to be installation of overhead electric cables and from what I have seen elsewhere in the country, this disrupts traffic because all the bridges have got to be changed in order to accommodate it. That is not a change to the layout and configuration or condition, it therefore falls within (b). Is your point that you have just got to put up with that? It will go over a long distance on the Great Western Main Line.

  10070. MR TAYLOR: My point in relation to electrification is that it is a change in or to any part of the network and falls within (a). It is a complete change to the configuration of the network because it extends electrification on the Great Western Line into locations where it is currently not present. Perhaps Mr Oatway would give us the benefit of his views as to whether or not electrification works fall in (a).
  (Mr Oatway) I think you were doing very well, Mr Taylor!

  10071. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I am struggling a little bit. Who is the arbiter between those categories? It is obviously quite important. Who decides in—some of them appear to be fairly black and white—the grey areas of (a) and (b)? Who is the arbiter?
  (Mr Oatway) If there are any disputes between the train operator and Network Rail over what is or what is not a network change and whether or not it has lasted for six months or not—

  10072. The first point?
  (Mr Oatway) That would go to firstly an industry committee called the Access Disputes Committee who would convene a panel to hear the case. If one or other of the parties were not happy with the determination of that panel, then they can appeal to the Office of Rail Regulation who has the final say.

  10073. BARONESS FOOKES: You sit on that, do you not?
  (Mr Oatway) I sit on the Access Disputes Committee, my Lady, and I may be fortunate enough to be chosen for a particular panel or not as the case may be.

  10074. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I hope you declare an interest!
  (Mr Oatway) Oh, yes, lots of interests have to be declared.

  10075. MR TAYLOR: Can we turn to page two of EWS-31.[23] I want to move away from the definition of a network change and on to deal with Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 of compensation. These are provisions which under EWS's Track Access Agreement make provision for compensation for variation to services caused by disruption arising from possessions on the network.

  (Mr Oatway) Yes.

  10076. Also in Schedule 8 the Track Access Agreement makes provision for a performance regime and so there is compensation payable between Network Rail and EWS for delays to trains and cancellations. Indeed, EWS may have to pay money if one of its trains causes delays or cancellations to other operators under that schedule, is that right?
  (Mr Oatway) Yes.

  10077. In relation to each of these aspects of compensation, your point of concern is that the mechanisms that are already in place industry-wide in Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 of compensation is an industry-wide mechanism, is it not?
  (Mr Oatway) Yes, but they vary between freight and passenger operators, they are distinctly different, whereas the main principle is passenger operators get compensation for possessions and freight operators do not.

  10078. Your concern here is that if 12 weeks' notice or greater of a possession is given, then there is no payment or compensation to EWS?
  (Mr Oatway) That is correct.

  10079. That identification for a 12-week period is industry-wide in relation to freight operators, is it not?
  (Mr Oatway) These provisions apply to all freight operators, yes.

23   Committee Ref: A57, Non-compensatable disruption (LINEWD-103_05A-022) Back

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008