Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12200
12200. LORD SNAPE: You are giving the
Committee ideas now, you know!
What we are saying is that that bridge is so important and, rather
than doing away with it altogether, we need it to be improved
and for it to be made a less attractive option for muggers and
criminals to use to get away and it seems to me that the sensible
way of going about making it a less attractive option is by improving
it in the ways we have already described.
12201. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: But,
in a way, you want them to get away to stop doing what they are
doing which is mostly interfering with the motorcars in Westbourne
Park Villas at the present moment, so you want them to go.
12202. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: I
can see the reason why it is used during the day, particularly
with the new academy and the rest of it, but could you tell me
if you have any statistics on the use, say, from seven o'clock
in the evening to seven o'clock in the morning?
I do not have any hard data at all. What I have got is anecdotal
evidence and that is that the community, the law-abiding community,
do not use it, they do not want to, they are fearful of using
12203. And you presumably will not have any
evidence that in fact more use will be made of it in the future
if in fact these enhancements were made?
(Miss Millett) Again only anecdotal evidence
that people would like to use it and they say, "We would
like to". For example, when we have our meetings, our ward
is bisected by the bridge, so we have to have our meetings on
one side of the bridge or another. You can see the residents that
live on the other side, they do not want to come, they do not
want to have to walk over the footbridge on their own and we have
to pair them up together and make sure everyone feels comfortable
going over this bridge for our own evening meetings, whereas again,
if it was more lit and it was transparent, they would feel comfortable
doing that on their own. That is just a small proportion of the
population and you can imagine everyone else would feel the same
12204. Really most of these crimes in a sense
could be solved by putting a lock on a gate, putting a gate on
at either end at seven o'clock at night and locking it.
(Miss Millett) To answer your question,
yes, in terms of the crimes, but then that would be detrimental
to the community that want to use it. That is penalising the upstanding
residents as criminals.
12205. I am just trying to find a solution to
the problem you have presented to us. It looks to me that, if
you examine it, it could be cured by other solutions. The smoker
taking his drugs will smoke somewhere else because he could not
be on the footbridge, so that reduces by 30 per cent the actual
crimes reported on there, and the remaining ones, four to nine,
would not exist because it would be locked.
(Miss Millett) But that is just the crime
element. Then you have got all the people that would feel they
are unable to access all the facilities
12206. I am only talking of at night, not during
the day. I have my suspicions that there are certain places where
people do not go at night, no matter what you do.
(Miss Millett) At night the academy have
all their sports provisions which run throughout the evening,
there is the Stowe Youth Centre that runs throughout the evening.
These facilities are for people on both sides of the bridge and
it would be such a shame if they could not
12207. So it is being readily used at night
(Miss Millett) It is being used to an
extent where people go together. They have to think about it very
carefully, like, "Do I want to risk going over the bridge?"
I am not saying nobody uses it, people do use it, but they do
not use it enough and I think they would use it more
12208. BARONESS FOOKES: It is not realising
its full potential.
Exactly. It would be used a lot more if it was a nicer bridge.
12209. CHAIRMAN: Lady Bright, I think
we will have to have a pause, otherwise the coffee will have probably
The witness withdrew
After a short break
12210. CHAIRMAN: Ms Lieven?
12211. MS LIEVEN: I think, my Lord, the
agreement is that we are going briefly to interpose Mr Walker
from Bircham's to make a brief statement about Hammerson's and
where they are at. I think this was agreed with your Clerk a little
12212. CHAIRMAN: Yes, it was.
12213. MS LIEVEN: So I will hand over
to Mr Walker.
12214. MR WALKER: My Lords, I would just
like to read a short statement which encapsulates the agreement
we have reached with the Promoter. My name is Angus Walker from
the firm Bircham Dyson Bell. This will mean that we will not have
to trouble you later this afternoon.
12215. CHAIRMAN: I knew that and it is
very happy news for everybody, I am sure.
12216. MR WALKER: I am sure you appreciate
that this is the tip of a very large negotiation iceberg which
has been going on for the last few months, indeed years. The agreement
is as follows:
12217. "If the Paddington `Triangle' site,
which is parcels 88, 89, 89a and 90 in the City of Westminster,
is acquired by the Promoter for Crossrail, all of it will be acquired.
12218. "The Promoter will consult with
Hammerson and Domaine as to the siting of the taxi ramp that she
intends to build on the site.
12219. "If London Underground Limited has
not elected to commence its works on the site within three years
of the practical completion of the ramp, then the Promoter will
offer the land back to Hammerson and Domaine in the first instance.