Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10100 - 10119)

  10100. Am I right in suggesting that the CTRL scheme came forward in advance of Part G of the Network Code?
  (Mr Oatway) I believe it was enacted in 1996.

  10101. So far as Transport and Works Act Orders are concerned, when you were giving your evidence-in-chief you said that whenever you get hold of a TWA Order the first thing you do is to look for the particular clause that you are interested in to see whether it is there or not.
  (Mr Oatway) Yes.

  10102. Can I take it from that, that particular clause is not always included in the Transport and Works Act Orders?
  (Mr Oatway) Commonly it is now. It was not so in the past and we had to raise concerns and give evidence in front of the Transport and Works Inspectors to try to petition for it.

  10103. MR TAYLOR: Thank you very much indeed, Mr Oatway.

Re-examined by MR GEORGE

  10104. MR GEORGE: Just two matters. First of all, going back to the beginning of your cross-examination, you were asked about your existing access contract and you said that it would expire in December 2015. When an access contract expires, what is the ORR's policy?

  (Mr Oatway) There is a presumption that your existing access rights will roll forward subject, obviously, to making an application and the ORR approving that. Indeed, I think the ORR has assumed existing rights will roll forward in its decision on the access option for Crossrail.

  10105. If we could please put up EWS31, page one, you were asked a question to the effect that those provisions there for network changes apply in ordinary circumstances and you agreed that they do apply in ordinary circumstances.[25] So far as the proposal to construct Crossrail, do you regard that as ordinary circumstances for which the existing standard industry provisions were designed?

  (Mr Oatway) No, I think Crossrail is an exceptional circumstance. It is an exceptionally huge project that certainly does not come along every day.

  10106. There has been a reference made now to some consideration in the industry to changing the industry mechanisms but are they being changed in order to cater for the ordinary circumstances or for the very special circumstances of a new railway such as Crossrail?
  (Mr Oatway) They are mainly looking at the ordinary processes, although they have touched upon, as Mr Taylor highlighted, that they are looking at modifying G9 to attract compensation, but those discussions are at an early stage.

  10107. Are you aware of any Transport and Works Order for major rail works that does not have compensation clauses in it similar to those to which you have drawn attention in respect of the East London Line?
  (Mr Oatway) Yes.

  10108. That example?
  (Mr Oatway) They are ones that are promoted by Network Rail itself. If you ask if there are any third party Transport and Works Orders then I am not aware of any at the moment.

  10109. MR GEORGE: Thank you very much.

  10110. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Just to get a sense of the proportion of your concerns on compensation. What is the area of dispute that we are talking about? If I said, looking at it, it looks like—I am guessing—95 per cent of problems that might occur from either the network changes will be covered under (a), would I be exaggerating?
  (Mr Oatway) I would say it would at least be in the eighties, if not higher, although we do not know exactly what works are going to be built, which are all uncertain at the moment because of the flexibility the Promoter has asked for. We do not know exactly which works are going to be built so I cannot really say they would all fall into that category. Giving an honest guess, I would say it would certainly be in that category, the eighties.

  10111. At least the eighties, and it could be as high as ninety?
  (Mr Oatway) It could be, for most of the works.

  10112. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Thank you.

  10113. CHAIRMAN: The undertakings relate to five/six specific works. They do not look to me as though they are anything out of the ordinary in terms of engineering on the railways. Are they?
  (Mr Oatway) The dive-under and the junction works at Heathrow, my Lord, are quite massive. The other works, the four that Mr Smith outlined in his evidence, as he said, are not huge works, but there are 24 works in the Crossrail Bill and there could be other works done as well which we do not know about.

  10114. Which are the works that are going to require change effectively in the law in order to deal with your compensation point?
  (Mr Oatway) Well, we believe that the whole Crossrail Bill, because it is a lawful enactment, Network Rail could be directed to do these network changes under G9 and, therefore, not pay any compensation for them. However, now we have the undertaking from the Promoters that that will not be the case, categorically I am quite happy on that point.

  10115. So what is left in terms of this large project that is not covered, either by the undertaking or by the existing machinery of the industry?
  (Mr Oatway) Just any temporary disruptions that occur which last less than six months, which individually might be quite slight but collectively, over the course of a ten-year project, would add up.

  10116. But I imagine that this happens all the time. If you have re-configuration of the West Coast Main Line it is a massive project, and there must be a large number of changes in configuration of the track and that sort of thing over a long period of time to which the industry processes apply, do they not?
  (Mr Oatway) Some of those will be network changes and others will be day-to-day maintenance and renewals. There are often lengthy debates with Network Rail over whether a possession is a network change possession, in which case they pay compensation, or is a maintenance and renewal possession, in which case it does not attract compensation for freight operators. Those debates go on all the time and that is one of the reasons why the industry mechanism is being re-looked at at the moment by the group that was referred to, to see if that sort of murkiness can be cleared.

  10117. CHAIRMAN: I see. Thank you.

  10118. MR GEORGE: My Lord, that concludes the evidence which I put before you.

  10119. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr George. I do not know what Mr Taylor, or you, Mr Elvin, want to do about this?

The witness withdrew

25   Committee Ref: A57, Non-compensatable disruption (LINEWD-103_05A-021) Back

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