Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12020 - 12039)

  12020. MS LIEVEN: I assume the Committee is not expecting us to set out every substantive commitment, but just the topics that are covered and where the answers are.

  12021. CHAIRMAN: Yes, the topics that are covered and, for instance, I think it might be worth explaining in the settlement case that there are stages in the assessment of a building. Yes, there have been some inspections, but there will be more and there are different categories of buildings according to whether they are listed or not, nothing more detailed than that, but that sort of thing.

  12022. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: It would help if they provided the reference to where the better description is.

  12023. CHAIRMAN: Yes, the reference and, if possible, the date since which these things have been in force.

  12024. MS LIEVEN: The dates will not be a problem; we can put the last date of each Information Paper and the date when undertakings were given. I am just a little nervous in terms of summarising, for example, if we take settlement as the policy, the stages and so on for two reasons. One is that the list that the Committee has asked for is a long list. There are a lot of topics of environmental protection and there are a lot of mechanisms for environmental protection quite apart from the substance, so it is quite a major enterprise. We can do it in terms of a list for tomorrow morning, but in terms of summarising what the policies say, I think we may be struggling to do that by tomorrow morning. The other problem, the more substantive problem, is that I am extremely nervous about summarising what are complicated documents. The IPs are written so that members of the public affected by the scheme can understand them. They are not enormously technical.

  12025. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: My Lord Chairman, I have not heard you use the word "summarise". "Listing the issues that are covered" is what I thought I heard you say.

  12026. CHAIRMAN: Well, I did, but then I went and elaborated on it and that is what Ms Lieven is objecting to.

  12027. MS LIEVEN: Well, I am not really objecting, my Lord. It is just that the one thing that I am very concerned about is that we do not end up by confusing people so that they look at something which, as it were, they perceive to be a summary, then they have the main thing and they get the wrong end of the stick. We have written those documents with huge amounts of care to try to be as clear as possible, so could your Lordships trust us to come up with the most sensible solution by tomorrow morning?

  12028. CHAIRMAN: Yes, certainly, and tell them how they can get to see these things because it is perfectly evident that they have never even looked at them.

  12029. MS LIEVEN: Well, possibly; I will not comment.

  12030. CHAIRMAN: Well, I cannot believe they have, judging by what happened yesterday evening!

  12031. MS LIEVEN: I will not comment!

  12032. BARONESS FOOKES: My Lord Chairman, what we are looking for is that, if somebody were coming fresh to this, they would be then given a good idea of what it is all about, if you see what I mean. Somebody is coming to it, they know nothing about it and you are just giving a very simple listing and references to where the fuller information can be found.

  12033. MS LIEVEN: Yes, I understand that. Could your Lordships just give me one minute to set in train that work being done because every moment is important, I suspect?

  12034. CHAIRMAN: Yes, indeed. That is why I raised it this morning.

  12035. MS LIEVEN: (After taking instructions) The request is being set in train, my Lord.

  12036. CHAIRMAN: Well, now we come on to today's business.

The following Petition against the Bill was read:

The Petition of Westbourne Park Villas Residents' Association.

LADY MARGOT BRIGHT appeared on behalf of the Petitioner.

  12037. MS LIEVEN: The first business of today is the Westbourne Park Villas Residents' Association, my Lords, and perhaps I may make a brief introduction before turning to Lady Bright to present the Petition. Perhaps I can have put up Exhibits 027 and 028 from yesterday. This covers issues that I touched upon yesterday. Westbourne Park Villas, the Committee will remember from the site visit and from the introduction yesterday, is the area that lies to the south of the railway tracks covering the area, I am not sure of the precise parameters of the Residents' Association, but basically covering the residential properties which lie to the south of the tracks from the Great Western Road bridge along here (indicating) and then on to page 28, if we can put that up.[2],[3] This road, the one that runs along the south, is actually Westbourne Park Villas.

The Petition of Westbourne Park Villas Residents Association

  12038. Now, I understand, and I hope I have not got this wrong, that there are three principal issues that the Residents' Association are going to raise today: the footbridge; the batching plant; and a noise barrier along Westbourne Park Villas. There may be other subsidiary issues, but I have picked those as what appear to me to be the three principal issues.

  12039. If I can start with the footbridge very briefly, which is back to 027, I told the Committee where the footbridge was yesterday, and those who went on the site visit will remember walking backwards and forwards over it.[4] I touched yesterday on the fact that it is an important pedestrian link, we perfectly accept that, which goes from the residential area to the south across to the area to the north of the tracks and, in particular, now into the newly built Westminster Academy, and it goes underneath the Westway here (indicating). Now, all Crossrail, and Mr Berryman can tell you far more about this than I, but all Crossrail needs to do to that bridge is to heighten, to raise, the northern span to allow new tracks to go underneath approximately here (indicating). The House of Commons Committee, in the light of the Petition that was presented to them by the Residents' Association, asked us to do work to the southern side of the bridge in order to allow disabled access up on to the bridge. As far as the northern side is concerned, Westminster Academy have rebuilt, and the Committee will remember seeing this on the site visit, part of the northern span, so there is disabled access on the north side. In the light of the House of Commons' recommendation, we agreed, and we promoted an AP to allow us to do this, to provide disabled access on the south side, so the precise configuration of that has not been determined yet, but there will be step-free access now on the south side provided by Crossrail.

2   Crossrail Ref: P79, Westbourne Park-Crossrail proposals (WESTCC-56_04-027) Back

3   Crossrail Ref: P79, Royal Oak Portal-Crossrail proposals (WESTCC-56-04_028) Back

4   Crossrail Ref: P79, Westbourne Park-Crossrail proposals (WESTCC-56_04-027) Back

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008