Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12320
12320. Listening to Lady Bright's questioning,
the area we have not discussed is actually the quality of the
material and the thickening of it as opposed to just scaling the
sound out with height.
(Mr Berryman) It is really the strength
of the mortar which is the crucial thing. The bricks themselves
have a bearing on it but the mortar is the crucial thing. We have
taken the mid-range from BS5628, which is probably a slightly
optimistic assumption because this is pretty old mortar; it has
been there the thick end of a hundred years.
12321. The mortar would not be a factor if you
faced both sides of it with bolted-on, or some other way, fixed
plates of very sound-resistant material.
(Mr Berryman) My Lord, that would not
help because when the wall fails it will fail as a piece; it will
not sort of bend in the middle, it will just fall over at the
point of highest stress, which is at the bottom of the wall. That
is where the tensile stresses
12322. A plate on both sides would not provide
a compensating stress.
(Mr Berryman) Not really, no. You could
do it in one direction but not the other.
12323. I could not even manage my Meccano set
so I should not be asking any questions, but I am fascinated by
the fact that we seem to have had a relatively narrow discussion
on what is a very important point. I am trying to broaden it into
something I might be able to understand. I am surprised that Lady
Bright has not been pursuing you on something similar with better
(Mr Berryman) My Lord, if you were to
put what we call "flats"steel flatsdown
on, say, this side of the wall, it would stop the wall falling
over towards Westbourne Terrace, but it would not help you with
the wall falling over into the railway.
12324. I would be thinking of something more
like a very large acoustic tile.
(Mr Berryman) I am not aware of anything
which can strengthen a masonry wall in that way, my Lord. As I
was saying earlier, there has been some experimental work done
on strengthening concrete walls by bonding carbon reinforced plastic
to the face of the wall, but that is really at an experimental
stage at the moment.
12325. The thrust of my question is, as it is
on so many of these occasions with us here, that we get the question
and we get the answer but what always fascinates me is the answer
to the question that has not been asked. That is all I am trying
to probe for.
(Mr Berryman) Indeed, my Lord. I cannot
really help you there, I am afraid. It sounds like a Zen question,
if I may say so.
12326. LADY BRIGHT: Just to finish on
this height business, what height barrier could that wall sustain?
As Lord Brooke asked that question earlier on, without extra calculation
I could not tell you but it would not be very high.
12327. Everything you are telling us is ruling
that out and we have not got engineering data to respond to how
you might deal with the barrier on that location and done in that
way. We did not come here to specify exactly how the noise barrier
should be made, because we still do not have the noise data to
know precisely what problem we are supposed to be solving. It
must go back to that. Is that not correct, Mr Berryman?
(Mr Berryman) As I said, Mr Thornely-Taylor
is better qualified than I to answer that question, but I think
what their Lordships are already aware of, as a result of the
site visit, is that the noise in that area has recently significantly
reduced because new trains have been put in. The point is background
noise levels change over time, and if we had done this work a
few months ago the background noise level in your property would
have been extremely high (I think you would agree with that) and
it is now somewhat lower. I am not saying it is low but it is
lower than it was. So, the timing of when noise measurements are
made is relevant to the level which will be experienced.
12328. Would you agree, Mr Berryman, there are
other changes in the pipelineyou have mentioned thisfurther
down the years before the trains start running which will affect
the noise environment again and reduce the noise, probably?
(Mr Berryman) They may do. It is very
hard to say for sure what impact some of these things will have
in the future. You are probably aware of the so-called Intercity
Express project which is planning to bring new Intercity Trains
onto the network. They are out to tender, I think, at the moment,
but we do not know yet what the noise level will be from that.
12329. Is it true they may be electric, do you
(Mr Berryman) It is possible. Technical
opinion is divided on that matter, at the moment.
12330. You probably know as well as anyone when
we might know about that.
(Mr Berryman) I would not like to hazard
a guess about another person's project. I do know that they are
in active discussion with manufacturers at the moment, and the
result of those discussions will no doubt lead to a decision on
electrification or otherwise.
12331. Could I ask you what you know about this
detailed noise study that your colleagues have been promising
(Mr Berryman) I think the best person
to ask that is Mr Thornely-Taylor.
12332. I concede you say that but I thought
you would know if there was another set of studies to be done
because it would affect the way you approach this end of the track.
(Mr Berryman) It could be done, yes. There
will certainly be other studies to be done between now and when
the railway opens.
12333. So you are not clear about the scope
of the study that Crossrail is proposing to do, because it does
affect the noise barrierwhat this study is looking at.
The detailed noise study that I keep banging on about.
(Mr Berryman) The detailed noise study
will really be to do with measuring background noise and forecasting
what future noise levels will be and what remedial action, if
any, needs to be taken. As I keep saying, Mr Thornely-Taylor is
far better qualified than I to answer that question.
12334. I must press you on this: do you understand
it to be taking account of the cumulative effect of the different
noise sources? Do you understand the study we are talking about
to be a very sophisticated modelling exercise so that it can account
for the change if the Government goes for electric or diesel/electric
unitsthe change when the new noise laws bite on the Westway,
etc. Is that your understanding, or are you thinking of a much
more limited study?
(Mr Berryman) Again, I am not really the
best person to answer that question. The study that is to be done
will be done in accordance with the various regulations and such
that govern these matters. I am sure Mr Thornely-Taylor will be
delighted to answer these questions.
12335. LADY BRIGHT: You are the managing
12336. MS LIEVEN: My Lords, I hesitate
to rise. I have the noise expert sitting behind me and I intend
to call him as soon as Mr Berryman is not in the box. Mr Berryman
has said he is not the right person to answer these questions.
12337. CHAIRMAN: He is saying so, loud
12338. LADY BRIGHT: He is saying that
he does not know about the technicalities, but it is a major item
that would affect their work on this. If it is what we think is
meant by it. So I just wanted to establish what Mr Berryman
If I could just make the point, Lady Bright, that Crossrail is
a very large organisation which involves all kinds of different
specialists who deal in all sorts of different matters. Although
I have a general understanding of what they are all doing I do
not think I could put myself in their shoes and take some of the
specialist decisions which are taken.
12339. That is probably our point to some extent:
what matters a great deal to us does not matter a damn to anyone
(Mr Berryman) I do not think that is what