Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12080
12080. It is very, very difficult for residents
who have a life to live to keep up with the changing pattern of
regulation. I certainly would not claim to have in my head what
the construction codes and all the other codes that interact and
overlap really mean for us.
12081. We have very different concerns to those
of Spitalfields. We would come to you with no undertakings. As
we do not have the data we cannot have undertakings to do particular
things to remedy it. All this is going to have to happen after
the Bill. I presume that your business here is to see that we
are protected under the Bill. There must be consultation arrangements
to cope with all these issues that have to be decided after the
Bill and perhaps Crossrail and your lawyers can give us some information
about that. We have had a bit of information but not enough. All
we know is that we will have a liaison committee, but we do not
know what our role is in it and because we are so exposed to the
overlap between Network Rail and Crossrail and the freight operators
it is terribly important that we do know they are all playing
by the same rules. I hope I have explained it, but it is a big
area of concern and I cannot immediately think of a simple remedy.
12082. We will leave the concrete batch works
and say nothing more than what we have already said about it except
the headshunt point.
12083. The footbridge does have to be raised
again. It really does demonstrate the problems and complexities
that are afflicting us simply because of where we are. It joins
the two communities, the one on the north for whom probably the
Westway is the greater noise nuisance at the moment and on the
south, which is us, Westbourne Park Villas. I have asked somebody
to come from the Westbourne Neighbourhood Forum to talk about
the footbridge, which is probably a bigger issue for them than
for us, but it is a Network Rail structure. Crossrail says it
is not their pigeon and will grudgingly do what is required by
Parliament. The House of Commons initially said in their interim
report "Just replace the bridge" and that would have
been the most straightforward and simple way of going on. What
we now have is a situation in which Westminster, Network Rail
and Crossrail are still dancing around one another and there is
still far too much scope for everybody to say, "That is your
pigeon and not my pigeon". I will tell you when we come to
the bridge in detail about the large-scale new Lottery funding
we have achieved to make that bridge better. We have achieved
it by action between the north of the community and the south
of the communitya lot of campaigning. So there is third-partyit
is fourth-party reallyfunding to be considered as well.
We just ask for your help in making these things work more smoothly
than they are at the moment.
12084. I wonder if I might call
12085. CHAIRMAN: You may call your witnesses
in whatever order you like.
12086. LADY BRIGHT: I would like to call
Sir Keith Bright, who happens to be my husband, but he is Chairman
of the Residents' Association, a former Chairman of London Transport
in the 1980s and a former Chairman of the Nationalised Industries
Group as well as having experience in private sector industry
at chairman level. I think he has some experience of making these
things work, and knows a lot more about trains, and so on, than
BRIGHT, sworn Examined
by LADY BRIGHT
12087. LADY BRIGHT: Sir Keith.
(Sir Keith Bright)
Good morning, my Lord.
12088. LORD SNAPE: Do you usually address
him like that?
12089. LADY BRIGHT: Can you please
explain rather more effectively than I haveI hopewhy
it is so important to measure the cumulative noise effects?
Bright) Indeed. Perhaps I should just say that I graduated in
science and have a PhD in chemical sciences, but I graduated in
chemistry, physics and mathematics. So I have a technical/scientific
background of what happens in sound. Sound waves are caused by
compression of air and, effectively, you feel this on your eardrums.
The point about noise is it is cumulative; you cannot have a generator
of air pressure of waves in one place and air pressure waves in
another place and they not be additivethey are. Anybody
that says they are not is not telling the truth. That is the first
point, and that has already been said, actually, to the House
of Commons Committee, by a rather good man, called Richard Methold,
in evidence 837 (for the record, it is page 9, paragraph 76),
and it was accepted, I think, by the House of Commons Committee
that was so. I really want to get that one out of the way, so
that any added noise will have a cumulative effect. With these
particular trains, the frequency of which is very highand
also something that has not been pointed out is that the frequency
is a great deal more where Westbourne Park Villas is because there
will be a turning facility, so there will be not just the baseline
number of trains but there will also be those that turn round
as well; so it will be more than you just might have been given
in the number per hour. That is the first thing. The second thing
is that the amount of noise at Westbourne Park Villas is, I think,
the highest in Londonone of the two highest places in London
already. There is a map of this that has already been done sometime
ago. You will see from the map, when it appears
12090. Shall I explain, before you go into the
detail, what this noise map represents?
(Sir Keith Bright) Yes.
12091. I mentioned that the noise environment
has changed. The legislative environment is changing as well.
This map, which was I believe put together by Mr Rupert Taylor
and his colleaguesfor the Promoter but nothing to do with
Crossrail; the Department for Transportshows (you can see
the arrow) Westbourne Park Villas and it shows that we are a real
noise hot-spot. The new noise laws require the individual European
countries to deal with those hot-spots in order of priority; therefore
this hot-spot will have to be dealt with.
(Sir Keith Bright) Yes. What we are interested
in is the reduction of noise levels. You will be shown by Crossrail
something which I think is quite absurd. They will show youat
least they showed us in a meeting last weekthat a barrier
on top of the wall needs to be four metres high to reduce the
noise levels to acceptable levels. Therefore, having a barrier
four metres high will involve all sorts of wind resistance and,
therefore, as a result of that, you will have to build piles down
into the ground on the rail side of the wall. That is a nonsense.
Four metres would be very nice but it would look ugly and is not
necessary. A metre-and-a-half will halve the amount of noise coming
across. A 3-decibel reduction will be produced by an addition
to the wall of a metre-and-a-half. Indeed, if it is sloped you
could probably have less than a metre-and-a-half to halve the
noise in Westbourne Park Villas. Crossrail have said if you build
a four-metre high wall you will have to have these structures
on the other side of the wall. You have seen the wall. The wall,
in fact, was built, probably, at the turn of the previous centuryabout
1900. I think you have not been on the rail-side of the wall,
but had you been on the rail-side, you will have seen it is an
extremely competent wall. It has deep foundations which, I have
been assured, were put in by the Victorians (or the Edwardians
as it might have been at the time), but is a carrier of lot of
electrical wires and communications, and that sort of thing. It
is a very good wall indeed. You will be shown, I think, one or
two discontinuities to the wall as seen from the Westbourne Park
Villas side; there is one crack, which is near Lord Hill's Bridge,
and there are one or two other surface defects that you will be
shown. The crack is the only serious crack in the wall; it does
not affect the integrity of the wall at all and the surface defects
are mainly caused by the surface of the brick eroding away, which
itself has been largely caused by the removal of graffiti. It
does not affect the integrity of the strength of the wall at all.
Therefore, any structure that is required to be put on top of
the wall, just a metre or a metre-and-a-half high (a metre would
do, in fact) would bolt-in perfectly well to a sound wall.
12092. Sir Keith, how important is it that we
do not have the data we will require from the detailed noise study?
Can we, should we discuss in too much detail how a noise barrier
would work if we have not got that data?
(Sir Keith Bright) No, I do not think
we can discuss how a noise barrier will work, but it is irrelevant
because one does not know anything at all because we just do not
know the noise levels that are there; we do not know the legislation
that will control noise at all. I just want to deal with the integrity
of the wall and the fact that a fairly small barrier will not
be a bother to the engineers that have to bolt it on to the wall.
Finally, the only point I would add to that is the rails next
to the wall (on the other side of the wall from Westbourne Park
Villas) are not main railways at all; they are sidings. Therefore,
it would not interrupt the railway to do that particular work.
Whether we need the particular sound barrier or not in that way
we have yet to find out because we have to have the information.
12093. Would you like to tell us something about
the noise effects of the freight trains which also vibrate?
(Sir Keith Bright) Yes, indeed. Of course, the couplings
between passenger trains are absolutely tight and exact and you
can walk between one carriage and another. You cannot do that
on freight trains; you have to have disconnecting trucks, and,
of course, you have the noisy diesel engine driving them. It has
a heavy load to drive; therefore, it will be puffing away doing
its damnedest all the time. These things have to be manoeuvred
and turned round, and it is not just Westbourne Park Villas, it
is further along the line. So residents will suffer a great deal
of noise from these trucks. Perhaps there is just one other thing
I would like to cover, and that is if you look at the Royal Oak
portal (if I can ask you to show that) this is where the Crossrail
would emerge from the deepest tunnel into the surface air, and
you will see that is a real photograph of an artist's impression
of the train emerging.
A good deal can be done even at that stage to prevent a lot of
sound coming out by dampening down those walls either side. If
sound-absorbent material were put on them that would have some
mitigating effect of the noise to the surroundings.
12094. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Sir
Keith, does that tunnel have any amplification effect on the sound?
Bright) I do not think it would, no. No, I do not think so. No,
I think, there would not be a rush of noise coming from the tunnel
at all. There would be some noise preceding the train, as in the
speed of sound the waves will build up in front of the train,
but there is nothing like that; it will be quite slow. So I do
not think that would be a real problem. The real problem is the
cumulative noise that this railway line would add to the other
noise we have got around, and I think that would be fairly considerable.
Again, we do not know until it is measured. That is the whole
12095. LADY BRIGHT: Exactly. Would you
like to list the things that really need to go into a detailed
noise study (what are some of the elements under some of the headings)
in order to get any valid answers at all?
Bright) You have to measure the noise. You have to have sound
measurements at various places and various distances from the
railway; you have to have them at different heights. Until one
has that data one does not know what one is talking about.
12096. What noises would you factor in to the
(Sir Keith Bright) The noise factors would
be all the railway noise, the noise of the motorway and the local
traffic noise as well. Of course, it will depend upon the time
of the day and night, so you would have to do this over a period.
There are techniques for doing this and there are well-established
rules for making a judgment on the level of noise; although it
fluctuates you take an average through the day and through the
12097. LADY BRIGHT: Thank you.
Cross-examined by MS
12098. MS LIEVEN: My Lords, I have one
question. Just to confirm, Sir Keith: you gave evidence about
the wall, and I obviously understand you live next-door to the
wall and you know it and love it, I am sure, very well, but you
are not a structural engineer, are you?
Bright) No, not at all. May I just say one thing: I have gone
across to the other side of the road with binoculars and studied
the wall in some detail from one end to the other, and it is a
very good wall indeed.
12099. MS LIEVEN: I knew that you knew
it and loved itI did not doubt that at all. So far as the
noise study is concerned, my Lords, I think the sensible thing
to do is for me to ask Mr Rupert Taylor to explain what noise
study will be done. I suspect we can set a lot of concerns at
rest on that, but I will not do that through cross-examination,
I will do it through asking Mr Thornely-Taylor.
Examined by THE
6 Committee Ref: A64, Defra London Noise Map of Westbourne
Park Villas (SCN-20080507-003) Back
Committee Ref: A64, Crossrail Royal Oak Portal (SCN-20080507-004) Back