Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10480 - 10499)

  10480. MR MOULD: The answer is it will vary depending on the location. I will take instructions but I am not sure if I can give you a definite answer as to what the position will be here at this stage in the process. As to the corresponding performance of bespoke and bought-in escalators in terms of vibration, I am afraid I cannot help you with that, but if you would like some information, I will see if I can find it.

  10481. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Mr Berryman behind you is looking very excited, he might be able to help you!

  10482. MR MOULD: Mr Berryman, it is his default mode to look excited. I will see if he is more excited than usual! Can you bear with me for a moment. (After a short pause) Mr Berryman tells me that he would prefer to bring them in in one piece if he can, but it does depend on location. His position is that he would not expect there to be any significant difference in terms of vibration performance, whether they are bespoke or brought in.

  10483. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: My experience of the pre-constructed ones is that they are real bone shakers.

  10484. MR MOULD: As one of the themes, which as your Lordship knows has been a feature of our presentations to this Committee, is that in many respects design performance is a fast moving beast in relation to structures of this kind, and modern escalators may perform very much better than those that have been in place for as little as ten years, I do not know. To return to my theme, I have explained how, under our current revised proposals, the alignment of the escalator will change and the significance that would have in terms of the need to carry out construction works within the basement of the east market building.

  10485. On that basis, not only would the permanent position be very different, but also the degree to which we would need to use the basement of the east market building as a work site would be very much reduced. I will ask Mr Berryman to explain that later in the morning. Suffice to say that on these revised proposals our expectation is that the degree of impact on the traders and on the east market building itself would be very considerably less than that which was presented to the House of Commons. The reason for that is that it is no longer proposed that the Thames Link scheme should run into Moorgate Station. That has given us a little bit more leeway as regards work site and construction capability in the area to the north of the east market building and, again, I will ask Mr Berryman to give you more details on that later.

  10486. Can we have 04-029?[6] I need to explain precisely where we are in relation to the revised proposal because it is fair to say that we have not yet submitted those proposals, the up-to-date position is set out in a letter that we sent to the Parliamentary Agent for the Smithfield Traders' Association on 24 April of that year. I have produced that letter as an exhibit for you just to summarise. On this page we summarise the original proposal and the development of our revised proposal. If you want to have a glance at that and I will ask if we can turn to the next page, please.

  10487. The key paragraph to note is the final paragraph of this letter, which says: "Further to recent progress, our position is that although the Promoter is still not at the stage where we can categorically abandon our original plans, we are now able to reinforce the above assurance by offering to use our best endeavours to deliver such a revised scheme". Then we set out the assurance that we have given to the market traders in relation to that. What that means in simple terms is the best endeavour is that it is now, I am able to say, highly unlikely, perhaps one could say extremely so, that we shall construct the east market ticket hall for the Farringdon Station on the original, more invasive basis. Final confirmation of that is expected to be given within the project during the summer of this year, so in June or July of this year. That is the current position.

  10488. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: What is it dependent upon? Is there some slight obstacle you have got to overcome?

  10489. MR MOULD: I do not think it is on the ground, it is just a process of ticking every box in relation to the design. I gather that it is essentially just to complete our site investigation to make sure there is nothing unexpected which is not revealed in the usual plans, but subject to that we are committed, as you see in relation to that revised scheme as set out in the letter.

  10490. That then leads me to the penultimate thing I need to show you, 04036, because there has been a further significant development since the House of Commons and it is this. One of the key points, as you will have noted from reading the Petition, that the market traders have been seeking has been a direct contractual relationship with the Promoter to confirm a number of undertakings and assurances that have been given to the market traders in relation to the impact of the Crossrail work throughout the parliamentary process. We have agreed that would be an appropriate course to take and the current position is there is a draft deed of undertakings in negotiation between the Promoter and the Market Traders Association. We have provided you with an up-to-date draft of that in your current pack beginning at page 36.[7] It is fair to say the head of terms are agreed. It is down to the detailed drafting now and I will draw attention to two particular matters. First of all, assurances and undertakings as regard the suppression and management of dust escape. If we turn to 039, you can see that there are detailed arrangements for physical work involving total enclosure dust barriers.[8] There are provisions for dust monitoring and management plans, obviously in consultation with the Market Traders Association. I am not going to take time on this in detail now, just to draw it to your attention with the other matters in relation to loading bays and access.

  10491. Perhaps we can turn to page 038.[9] A particular concern with the traders has been to maintain the vehicular access to the market and access to the loading bays. One can understand why I draw attention to item 3 on that page, which confirms that we will maintain safe vehicular and pedestrian access through Lindsey Street and around the market including 44 tonne vehicles.

  10492. If we can turn on very briefly to page 39 as regards the loading bays.[10] The key concern has always been the impact of the construction of the Lindsey Street ticket hall on the use of loading bays, the street on the eastern side of the market building. This commitment was given, that is to say we would use every endeavour to maintain six loading bays. That was given in the context of the original proposal that was before the House of Commons, but the position as instructed as regards the revised scheme is it would be possible to maintain the use of the loading bays in Lindsey Street throughout the construction stage. That would be a marked significant improvement in the event the revised scheme is proceeded with. I think it is fair to say, my learned friend will indicate that the decision to proceed with those undertakings is seen as a significant advance insofar as the Market Traders' Association is concerned. We are very pleased that is the case.

  10493. That leaves us with one outstanding issue and it is that of compensation and the particular issue there is this. It is the extent to which the ordinary rules for land compensation and in particular the extent to which payment can be made for land compensation for disturbances relating to public works, should be extended in the case of the Smithfield traders in the House of Commons. The Committee felt that there was a case for some special arrangement to be made in relation to the market traders to reflect the historic and sensitive nature of their case. The Promoter accepted that and the Promoter has undertaken to achieve that by extending the right of recovery, so where a claim is justified the Promoter has said that the market traders will be able to recover not only a sum of money to reflect the value of leasehold but also to recover consequential loss, particularly loss of trade and loss of business flowing from that event.

  10494. As my Lord, Lord Chairman will certainly appreciate, that is a significant extension over the ordinary principles that apply to land compensation for those who occupy neighbouring land which is affected by public works, that is to say who do not have any land taken but are affected by public works carried out on neighbouring property.

  10495. CHAIRMAN: Are you going to achieve this through an undertaking, or what?

  10496. MR MOULD: Yes, indeed. The deed I have shown you does include just such a commitment. There is an issue as to whether it would be better in the form of the deed or whether it will be something that stands free from the deed, but I do not think that is anything that needs trouble your Lordships; that is essentially a choice for the traders. But the substance of that commitment is something which we have already indicated we are willing to commit to.

  10497. So the issue today is not so much whether there should be special arrangements but whether the market traders, and Mr Dingemans will tell you about this in a minute or two, should not only have an extended right in relation to the compensation they recover where they have a valid claim, but whether the actual right to claim compensation should be extended in itself, and in particular what they seek is that they should be able to claim compensation for losses flowing from the disturbance caused by, for example, dust, not only where that results from some failure in the Promoter's dust management plans and processes but also where that is the inevitable consequence of the perfectly proper performance of the Crossrail works, and your Lordships will appreciate that that is the significant point, because under the existing state of the law there is no right of recovery of land compensation in these circumstances for disturbance, which is the inevitable consequence of the proper performance of public or private construction works. So that, I hope I have explained clearly, is precisely where the issue lies between us today.

  10498. Having said that, a theme to which I shall clearly return in a little more detail when I make my closing submissions, I shall hand over to my learned friend.

  10499. CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Mr Dingemans?

6   Committee Ref: P73, Correspondence from CLRL to Oury Clark Solicitors, 24 April 2008 (LONDLB-23-04-029 and -030) Back

7   Committee Ref: P73, Draft Deed between the Nominated Undertaker and individual Smithfield Market Traders, April 2008 (LONDLB-23-04-036) Back

8   Committee Ref: P73, Draft Deed between the Nominated Undertaker and individual Smithfield Market Traders-Farringdon Station Eastern Ticket Hall-Dust (LONDLB-23-04-039) Back

9   Committee Ref: P73, Draft Deed between the Nominated Undertaker and individual Smithfield Market Traders-Vehicular Access to and around the Market (LONDLB-23-04-038) Back

10   Committee Ref: P73, Draft Deed between the Nominated Undertaker and individual Smithfield Market Traders-Loading Bays (LONDLB-23-04-039) Back

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