Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12240
12240. MS LIEVEN: Yes, and they are certainly
not appearing. My Lords, can I just explain where we have got
to? Lady Bright and I had a very rushed conversation over the
coffee break on the footbridge and I think the position is that
Lady Bright and the residents accept that we are not going to
go any further in terms of physical works than we have already
agreed to and, just to remind the Committee, that involves raising
the span on the north side so that the middle step goes, doing
a ramp on the south side, which means that the bridge is fully
accessible in terms of disabled access
12241. CHAIRMAN: And the step in the
12242. MS LIEVEN: Yes, the step in the
middle, as I have mentioned, and lighting. We have already agreed
to light the bridge. I think Lady Bright's prime concern is that
all these things come together, the Network Rail work to the bridge,
the Sustrans funding, that they are all put in together.
12243. CHAIRMAN: Certainly that is our
concern because there are so many people involved in this, so
many organisations involved in this, that co-ordination is badly
12244. MS LIEVEN: Absolutely, my Lord.
12245. CHAIRMAN: And, what is more, a
certain amount of expedition, I would have thought.
12246. MS LIEVEN: Well, I think the reason
I am on my feet is just to try to cut to the chase on this and
perhaps save a little time. My instructions are that the north
span will not be raised, on current programme, until about 2012/13,
but we are happy to say to the residents that we will work with
Network Rail and that together will be brought forward with reasonable
expedition, but taking into account the timetable of Crossrail
because there is no point having a scheme which is in advance
of the northern span being raised, and we will work with Network
Rail to bring that forward obviously in consultation with the
local authority and, through them, with local residents.
12247. CHAIRMAN: What about the ramps
and the lighting?
12248. MS LIEVEN: My Lords, let me just
take instructions, if I may, for one moment. (After taking instructions)
My Lords, the ramp will be done at the same time as the raising
of the northern span because, until the northern span is raised,
it is not a DDA-compliant bridge in any event because you have
still got the steps in the middle, so the two things will be done
at the same time. The lighting we will discuss with Westminster
because there is going to have to be a lot of work to the south
side of the bridge and it may well not make sense to put in expensive
changes to the bridge before that work is done because you might
have to rip it out again, we just do not know at this stage, but
we will work with Network Rail and with Westminster to bring forward
an appropriate scheme.
12249. CHAIRMAN: And with the liaison
group, I hope.
12250. MS LIEVEN: And obviously with
the liaison group as well, and what Lady Bright and I were discussing
was that we will do so with reasonable expedition, but taking
into account the Crossrail timetable.
12251. LADY BRIGHT: I think we would
like a date on when they have to bring forward the joint scheme,
the detailed scheme, not to do it, but to at least have a detailed
12252. MS LIEVEN: The slight difficulty
with that is that of course I cannot give any commitment on behalf
of Network Rail, I am not instructed here on behalf of Network
Rail, so I simply cannot, but it would appear to me, given that
we are talking about works in 2012/13, obviously if we could do
the work next year, we would bring the joint scheme forward quicker,
but there is not very much point rushing into the joint scheme
when you know that the works are not going to be done until 2012/13,
so that is the kind of timescale we have in mind.
12253. CHAIRMAN: Lady Bright, I think
that is probably as far as we can get on the footbridge. It is
not as quick as you would like, but, on the other hand, it may
be a little progress.
12254. LADY BRIGHT: Is it asking too
much to actually require the Promoter and Network Rail, if we
name the parties in this, to bring forward a joint scheme that
involves Westminster and Sustrans so that we specify who is going
to be involved and ask them to do it before the Crossrail works
start, to bring forward that scheme so that we at least know what
is going to happen? I do not mean build it, but I mean to be sure
12255. BARONESS FOOKES: I would not have
thought the Promoter could give an undertaking on behalf of an
independent organisation. On the other hand, it is certainly open
for us, if we so wish as a committee, to make our views known.
12256. LADY BRIGHT: To ask them to do
it together and then they are just going to have to sit down and
agree it together, are they not?
12257. BARONESS FOOKES: Yes.
12258. MS LIEVEN: I could not have put
it better, my Lady. I cannot commit Network Rail to anything,
but I am absolutely sure that, if a parliamentary committee puts
in a strong request that the Promoter and Network Rail work together
to bring forward a joint scheme and that is then consulted upon
with Westminster and the liaison group, I am sure all the parties
will follow that recommendation. I see no possible reason for
them not to do so.
12259. CHAIRMAN: I think that is good.
We have still got to deal with the boundary wall.