Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10920 - 10939)

  10920. CHAIRMAN: Whatever the door is in the central corridor?

  10921. MR MOULD: Indeed, my Lord. Those are important matters. As regards the question of dust, which is where the real issue has focused today on the facts, we say that taking those matters together, the risk of dust penetrating into the market and contaminating meat and products within the market is one which is very manageable and we say can fairly be described in relation to the revised scheme as a minimum risk.

  10922. Turning briefly to the other point raised, which is the question of deliveries and lorry movements, we have confirmed that under the revised scheme there will be no physical hoardings in the streets surrounding the market and no narrowing of the existing highway. We are committed to maintaining lorry access throughout the construction phrase, that is set out in the deed. As regards Lindsey Street itself, Crossrail deliveries are unlikely, given the hours of working on a daily basis, to give rise to any significant conflict with vehicles associated with the market and the interference with the loading bays is unlikely to happen for that reason.

  10923. CHAIRMAN: Could I ask you to pause for a second, Lord Young has a question.

  10924. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Before you move off the dust point, I just have a couple of points I want to establish. You are doing continuous monitoring. If during that process the monitor alarm sounded, what would you do?

  10925. MR MOULD: As a matter of urgency, we would seek to identify the cause of that alarm being sounded and identify immediate remedial steps which should be taken in order to cure the reason for the alarm. For the reasons Mr Berryman gave, which are essentially to do with safety, we cannot give a commitment that we will stop work.

  10926. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I understand that, that is a matter of site judgment, but assuming there was not a safety impact, there are circumstances where you would have to suspend operations anyway, so that should not be an opt-out clause.

  10927. MR MOULD: No, I am being lawyerly to a degree. Of course, what is needed on the ground in relation to any given event will need to be judged at the time. What we are setting out is the basic parameters. If it was a situation as basic as a lorry just not having been sheeted properly, then obviously that would be dealt with and the necessary measures taken to remind operatives of the need to be very careful about this.

  10928. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: I am thinking of something like you have a failure of seal on your plastic sheeting around the site, you have got a lot of dust being generated due to the demolition process. In order to minimise the possibility of airborne pollution, it seems it would be prudent to pause for a while until you seal that again. That is taking into account the safety issue.

  10929. MR MOULD: My Lord, you are absolutely right. One would clearly take a view at the time as to how far one could go in terms of limiting ongoing operations in order to enable the problem to be minimised and then to be cured.

  10930. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: If I may pursue it further, have you considered in the worst part of the demolition, if you like, the dirtiest part of that process, of doing that over a weekend period?

  10931. MR MOULD: No, I think the difficulty of dealing with the crucial part of the construction phase on that basis is that it is not just a question of dust, it is very likely that that would involve significant noise generation and things like that and we do have to think about the environmental impacts in the round. I do stress, nothing that we have considered thus far, including the assessment of these works through the Environmental Statement, which involved very careful consideration of the likely risk of dust escaping and penetrating into the market, have suggested that there is likely to be a significant risk with all the measures we are proposing of a problem arising.

  10932. Distinguishing, of course, between dust generation on the site and the risk of the market traders actually experiencing dust damage to their meat.

  10933. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: I would not disagree but I was just trying to probe, if you like, as far as I possibly could, to ascertain the circumstances, and if I could take issue with you on one point, as a question of degree, whilst you might argue that they are not unique, they are certainly different. You compared it to the sandwich shop in Bond Street; it is a different operation to that, the doors of the sandwich shop can be shut. But it does seem to me it is different in terms of the nature of the operation and the scale of it and the "possible", even if it is unlikely. So whilst I accept your point of view that one might not say that it was unique, I certainly do not think that is a fair comparison or an appropriate comparison to compare it to a shop in Bond Street. It is a totally different operation.

  10934. MR MOULD: I was seeking to draw attention to the degree that there was a risk of being impacted, if you like. We are talking about very significant construction works being carried out throughout Central London. Of course, the sensitivity of the receptor is a significant consideration, and we accepted the Committee's view in the other place, that for historic and operational reasons these Petitioners were clearly sensitive receptors and some special arrangements were justified as regards compensation, which was why we made the arrangements that we did. So the issue is not that they are not sensitive; the issue is how far should one go in terms of reflecting that in the compensation regime.

  10935. The remedial and mitigation and preventative measures I have just reminded your Lordships of are obviously central to that judgment because in assessing the degree of risk one needs to take account what is being done in order to avoid that risk being realised.


  10937. MR MOULD: I was just at the end of summarising the fact position, and I have one final point on the road and deliveries aspect. Clearly, from what he said just before the short adjournment my learned friend, his lawyers and I take a slightly different view about the degree to which interference with the loading bays on the market side of Lindsey Street would undoubtedly sound in compensation as an interference with a private right, but I do not think I need to trouble your Lordships with resolving that issue. It would not be appropriate to do so in light of the fact that, on the facts you now have, the likelihood of any significant interference of that kind taking place can clearly be seen to be relatively limited, and I have referred to the small claims scheme which is in operation and which is set out in Information Paper C4, I think.

  10938. So that is the position on the facts and, my Lord, what I would like to do now is just to go to my note. I am loathe to read it all out because you have it there, it is a verbatim note, but can I just pick up on what I say are the key points, to make good my submission.

  10939. I will not trouble you with the first four paragraphs.

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