Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10200
10200. So the Committee is simply asked now
to receive the short report that I give in agreed terms, to note
the fact of that agreement and the Petitioner will then withdraw
its Petition. It is important to recognise that there are uncertainties
ahead, not least in terms of the extent of the works needed and
also including the risks that are inherent even in moving the
vessel a reasonable distance for works to be undertaken, but the
Petitioner and the Promoter have, by working together, achieved
the ends that each has responsibility for and, I would respectfully
submit, the public interest is served by a Crossrail that is built
and a vessel that is retained rather than lost.
10201. Quite apart from the national heritage
at stake, the period from the construction of the Robin,
which was in Blackwall on the Isle of Dogs in the late 19th Century,
through to the construction of Crossrail in the 21st Century represents
three centuries of British engineering history. The Petitioner
is committed to ensuring that the medium- and long-term future
of the vessel lies in educational and other public use. There
is, moreover, the prospect of some future collaboration between
Petitioner and Promoter towards that end.
10202. My Lords, thus far I have spoken in terms
that are agreed between the Petitioner and the Promoter, but,
at the risk of just taking a few more seconds, I should like briefly,
with your leave, to add the following. The Trust would wish to
pay tribute to the professionalism and courtesy it has enjoyed
in its dealings with Crossrail employees, led by Mr Tony Walters,
Chief Engineer, with the Promoter's Parliamentary Agents, Winckworth
Sherwood, and, further, with the Department for Transport, represented
by Mr Colin Poole. The Trust further acknowledges its deep gratitude
to the City firm, Travers Smith, which has acted for the Trust
pro bono in the contract work involved over the last weeks.
I record my own respect, as counsel, for the careful and constructive
part played by my learned friend, Mr Gwion Lewis, and might I
also thank your Lordships. It was the time that you graciously
allowed to the parties and, I might say, the words of encouragement
that you thoughtfully used on the last occasion that have helped
enable this outcome. It is not an overstatement to say that this
issue has been a material stage in saving the Robin for
the nation. The Robin will leave shortly for the works
to be undertaken and that day and the day of its return should
be very great days indeed. I thank your Lordships.
10203. CHAIRMAN: I do not think words
of gratitude will ever go amiss and I think those who have received
them will be very much appreciative. Thank you very much.
10204. MR LEWIS: My Lords, can I also
take the opportunity to express the Promoter's gratitude to the
Trustees and to my learned friend for the constructive manner
in which this matter has been approached. Their commitment to
the cause, my Lords, has been clear from the outset and I think
it is fair to say that a fair amount of midnight oil has been
burnt this week in an effort to resolve the Petition in time for
our appearance today. This is a good-news story for Crossrail,
my Lords, and one of the headline achievements of the hearings
that have taken place before your Lordships' House and, as far
as the Promoter is concerned, we wish to put it on the record
that we do see this very much as marking a change in our relationship
today from one of Promoter and Petitioner to one of two partners
working in collaboration to secure a long and successful future
for the SS Robin. I am grateful for the opportunity and the time
you have given us to resolve it, my Lords.
10205. CHAIRMAN: I think it is double
eulogies all round! Thank you both very much. Mr Elvin, I have
been looking at your note on clauses 40 and 41. It seems to me
that this is the sort of thing that ought to be dealt with in
the public bill committee stage.
10206. MR ELVIN: With respect, that was
our view as well, my Lord.
10207. CHAIRMAN: It is not immediately
clear to me whether there is going to be a clause stand-apart
provision in the recommittal, but, if somebody moved an amendment
to leave out clauses 40 and 41, the Minister could make a statement
which incorporates what you have put in this note. It must go
on the record somewhere.
Promoter's Closing on Railway Issues
10208. MR ELVIN: Well, my Lord, that
note is a formal submission to the Committee and I was going to
adopt it as part of my submissions in due course, but it is an
explanation for your Lordships. As I understand the matter to
the extent that this issue is raised, the real issue is not really
clauses 40 and 41 as a whole, but it is clause 41(3) which is
the real issue, the power of direction.
10209. CHAIRMAN: Yes, it is.
10210. MR ELVIN: So it really turns on
that, and your Lordships will see from the note that the principal
concern is because there are interactionsI mentioned this,
I think, last weekwith the PPPs and London Underground
which are unregulated by the Railways Act, there are concerns
that those contracts which do not enjoy the jurisdiction of the
ORR and the Olympics duty could otherwise obstruct Crossrail actually
happening and that, we consider, would be contrary to the will
of Parliament in enacting what will be the Crossrail Act in due
course. That is the principal reason, as I said, I think, last
Tuesday, for the inclusion of the power.
10211. CHAIRMAN: But I think it would
be a good thing if somebody like Lord Bassam were to repeat something
along the lines of this statement on the floor of the House so
that it will be in the official record and people can refer to
it. I do not know who is going to put down an amendment, but,
I dare say, you can find somebody.
10212. MR ELVIN: It certainly will not
10213. CHAIRMAN: Well, thank you very
much for that; that is very helpful.
10214. MR ELVIN: My Lord, I think we
have reached the stage where I was going to call Mr Berryman (a)
to answer Lord Brooke's questions on costs and (b) for Lord Berkeley
to ask some questions of him.
10215. CHAIRMAN: By all means.
10216. MR ELVIN: I had agreed with Lord
Berkeley that I would tender Mr Berryman for cross-examination
in due course. I think Mr George had quite a long go last week,
but I said to Mr George that clearly Mr Berryman is tendered for
cross-examination should he have any further matters that he did
not raise last week.
Examined by MR
10217. Mr Berryman, the only point I want to
take up with you is the issue of costings for the infrastructure
works. We have produced, as I say, in my best writing, the figures
for the infrastructure works and they include one item of works
requested by the Rail Freight Group, which is Chadwell HeathI
do not think it is requested by EWSand the West Drayton
loop, which in fact comprises two of the six items sought by EWS.
The total cost of all of those items is £445 million of which
two-thirds is covered by the cost of the Acton dive-under and
the Heathrow Junction.
(Mr Berryman) That is correct.
10218. Can I just ask you the question firstly,
are the costings of the infrastructure works which are listed
in the Bill included in the estimates which have led to the funding
of the project?
(Mr Berryman) Yes, they are.
10219. Are they simply included as costings
or are there funding arrangements for contingency and the like?
(Mr Berryman) There are indeed contingency arrangements,
a number of different aspects of the contingency. It is something
referred to often as optimism bias in the Treasury documents.
I think the optimism bias is to allow for people like me who are
unrealistically optimistic in how much it will cost to build works.
31 Crossrail Ref: P69, Note on infrastructure works