Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10420 - 10439)

  10420. CHAIRMAN: I do not think we are saying it is a matter of being bad in law --

  10421. LORD BERKELEY: Well, I think Mr Elvin implied that.

  10422. CHAIRMAN: It is a matter for our judgment, I think.

  10423. LORD BERKELEY: It is your judgment, my Lord Chairman, and I am not going to say any more about that.

  10424. Finally, Mr Elvin kindly went through our conclusions, and I do not think I am going to say any more about the list of works which we have discussed at length.

  10425. On my second slide, I am grateful for the comments he has made.[33] Just to run through them very briefly, I think the first one probably is superfluous now. The second should be capable of being dealt with under the industry processes, except we will have to see what happens to clauses 40-42, but that is my only question there.

  10426. The reason we put the third one is I still have uncertainty, in spite of what some of our witnesses said, as to whether Gospel Oak-Barking is, in fact, fully funded. Probably that is not down to the Committee but down to our industry to sort out and, if necessary, inform me later, but I think that is it.

  10427. I quite understand the amendment to the Bill and we have discussed that at length, and the last one, 40-42, we have discussed.

  10428. On the final one, my Lords, we did not ever suggest that the Committee should require the Promoters to fund or build Peterborough-Nuneaton. All we were asking for was maybe a paragraph in the report that said it would be very helpful to the project if the Department were able to fund this at a time so it could be completed to take, in addition to the growth beyond the opening of Crossrail, some of the traffic that could be diverted from the Great Eastern during the construction phase to reduce the pressure on that particular line.

  10429. CHAIRMAN: Surely both Gospel Oak to Barking and Ipswich and Nuneaton are going to be needed anyway?

  10430. LORD BERKELEY: They are, my Lord Chairman. All I am asking for is a little bit of encouragement from your Committee to the Department to get on with it, that is all. I am not looking for an assurance or anything from the Promoters on that, and they understand that too.

  10431. May I conclude by paying tribute to the Crossrail team? I have had two good days with my witnesses; it has come a long way in three and a half years, and I certainly wish them well in raising the finance. I know we did not bring any evidence on this but I really do wish them well in reaching agreement with Network Rail and TfL because, without it, all we have been talking about will have to start again from scratch. It is really serious, and I am sure everybody understands that and will do their best to reach agreement.

  10432. Thank you very much, my lord Chairman.

  10433. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Lord Berkeley. Mr George?

  10434. MR GEORGE: My Lords, yesterday afternoon I undertook not to trouble your Lordships for very long with my closing and I do not propose to do so. I refer your Lordships back to my opening yesterday afternoon and I do not propose to repeat what I said in that.

  10435. The first point we raised was the one in connection with clause 41(3), and I appreciate your Lordships have taken the preliminary view that this is a matter for the Public Bill Committee, but can I urge your Lordships to make specific reference to clause 41(3)?

  10436. Your Lordships will have noted this afternoon that there was precisely no treatment given by Mr Elvin in his closing of the justification for clause 41(3) and why it was not needed in the CTRL Act but is needed here.

  10437. I would invite your Lordships to include reference in your report to the fact you have received no justification whatsoever for that particular provision. We are told what it is not going to be used for, but there is no explanation as to why it is needed at all; why a simple arbitration provision as in the CTRL Act would not be sufficient. We are not told. He is entirely silent on the key matter.

  10438. The only criticism we are raising is on clause 41(3): we have no explanation as to why 41(3) itself is needed rather than a simple arbitration clause. I leave it there.

  10439. My Lord, so far as the second issue with which we are concerned is concerned, which is the question of compensation for loss during the works, on the first matter, which is G9, we are content with the undertaking which was given. It is a pity that we previously had what we thought was a rather confusing letter, but now we have very clear words and we welcome that undertaking.

33   Committee Ref: A52, Conclusion 2 (SCN-20080501-024) Back

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