Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10220 - 10239)

  10220. That removes an element of optimism from the figures, does it?
  (Mr Berryman) Indeed and these figures already include that being taken into account.

  10221. Very well. In response to my Lord's question earlier, are any of these infrastructure items or any of the items specifically ring-fenced within the funding at the moment?
  (Mr Berryman) No, not in that way. The reason for that is primarily because a lot of the works, and particularly on the surface works, will be combined and done at the same time. If you take as an example the West Drayton loop, that would probably be done at the same time as the electrification is done, and so although these figures are used to build up the estimate, they do not necessarily relate to the contract packages that will be let when the time comes.

  10222. In reality, what do you think the likelihood is of having to do all or the majority of the works that are stipulated?
  (Mr Berryman) I think it is very likely. If the traffic patterns continue as they are now, if we can make an agreement with Heathrow Airport Limited to use their private railway and so on, which we fully expect to do, I would anticipate all these works, plus some others will be done as well.

  10223. We are on the very narrow territory of expecting to have to do all or most of these works but still wanting to retain some flexibility. I would like you to make it clear to your Lordships why it is you consider that flexibility is desirable.
  (Mr Berryman) I think the first thing to say is some of the works which are required may be replaced by other works conceivably. I think you have already heard that the current timetable modelling shows that we are only achieving about 74 per cent PPM. We hope to improve that obviously and two of the main things which we will do to improve that are to improve the kind of rolling stock that is used on the railway and, secondly, to improve the maintenance standards, in other words the quality of the maintenance which is done on the railway. We may also need to do further infrastructure works over and above the works which are set out in this schedule. If you take as an example the Chadwell Heath loop, I think this is quite an unlikely example, but take it as an example, we may find it necessary that on the east side of London instead of one loop at Chadwell Heath, we need two loops. It is perfectly possible within the existing railway alignment and can be done using the permitted development rights of Network Rail. What that would mean is we would not need to build a Chadwell Heath loop. I only put that forward as a potential example. I do not have any realistic expectation that that will be the case, but it is the kind of thing that could happen and may happen as the design and the modelling is further developed and refined.

  10224. Mr Berryman, are there any examples here of infrastructure which are designed for a specific purpose? Ignore Acton dive-under for the moment?
  (Mr Berryman) Hanwell Bridge sidings is an example where it is primarily there to deal with two flows: one is what we call the bin liners, the rubbish trains which go up to Calvert and the other one is an aggregate or a stone flow which goes down to a stone terminal down towards Brentford. There is no certainty about the long-term future of the bin liners going to Calvert; the pit there that they are currently using is almost full. There are other pits nearby which may get planning consent, so that flow may continue, but it is also conceivable that it does not continue and there would then be little point in building that rather expensive £40 million of work if there is no likely flow for it. It is that type of issue where we want to return flexibility.

  10225. Just to go a step further, are these infrastructure works the only works that would be required which would have an impact on freight capacity?
  (Mr Berryman) By no means. I was quite surprised to see that neither of the Petitioners had included the Maidenhead works in their Petition. These works will cost about £80 million and will effectively be essential to allow freight trains to continue to use the timetable paths that we have already identified. There are a couple of other smaller points. It kind of seems a bit arbitrary to me, which things are included and which things are not.

  10226. The Maidenhead works, I think you described those last week, they are the works which allow you to turn the trains around at Maidenhead without having to take out a freight path, is that right?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes. There are two or three issues at Maidenhead. We need to turn trains. There is also a siding which comes down from Bourne End and Marlow where trains for that need to turn. There are currently five platforms, so we could turn our trains there quite happily without doing any extra works but it would obstruct freight paths if we were to do that.

  10227. That, of course, would cause a conflict and might bring in the change control mechanism.
  (Mr Berryman) In that case it certainly would.

  10228. Those works, if you are not going to have a problem with the change control mechanism, would have to be carried out?
  (Mr Berryman) That is right.

  10229. Mr Berryman, I do not have any further questions on those. I do not know if my lords have any questions on those specific issues.

Examined by THE COMMITTEE

  10230. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: These possible variations and the reasons why you need the flexibility et cetera, have you discussed any of these possibilities with the Rail Freight Group because one of the comments made this morning was that they were not aware of any alternatives?

  (Mr Berryman) No, my Lord. Just to make it clear, we have not got any alternatives on the table at the moment. I am just raising the possibility that further design work and further modelling work may throw up the need for a slightly different approach in some areas. Of course, if that was the case, then that would go through the Timetable Reference Group in any event. In that case, all the Petitioners will become aware of it.

  10231. I just wondered whether there had been any discussions on this.
  (Mr Berryman) No, my Lord.

  10232. MR ELVIN: Mr Berryman, indeed under the change control mechanism and the access option any variation in the assumptions and the modelling, which includes the infrastructure works, have to be agreed with the industry or by the independent approval of the ORR?
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct, yes. The whole point of the change control mechanism is to allow that to happen.

  10233. There is a proper mechanism for managing by consulting the industry and then the ORR if necessary for varying those assumptions in due course?
  (Mr Berryman) That is correct, yes, and the ORR would carry on a consultation exercise themselves in that case.

  10234. LORD SNAPE: Just on the costings that you produced between you, were they available before? Did you do them yourself or have you consulted outside?
  (Mr Berryman) My Lord, I rang up our quantity surveyors in the morning break and got the figures. Of course they are part of the much bigger estimate for the whole project.

  10235. As the result of a phone call you can confidently predict that all this work will cost £45 million?
  (Mr Berryman) It is not as the result of a phone call, my Lord, it has been work that has been going on for several years. The phone call was merely to elicit the information from the people who had been doing the work.

  10236. You did not think you were going to be asked that?
  (Mr Berryman) I did not, no, my Lord.

  10237. CHAIRMAN: Are these figures going to get on to the record in some shape or form?

  10238. MR ELVIN: I can submit them as a formal exhibit. I am perfectly happy to do that.

  10239. CHAIRMAN: It might be of some interest.



 
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