Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12240 - 12259)

  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 middle.

  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 needed.

  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 plan.

  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 and clear.

  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.



 
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