Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12540
12540. Anyway, if we could move on, I have some
more exhibits here. Could you go to exhibit 4 first please in
One of the things with Crossrail is they have done no internal
surveys whatsoever, so far as I know, and at the front of my building,
which I think you will probably remember when you looked at it,
at the basement at the very bottom there, that unfortunately does
not come out very well, that is a window, but that is an air vent
(indicating). This air vent goes down and under the building and
up into a large light well. Next exhibit, JP5, this is where the
underground connection from that front vent comes up inside the
So you have got a shaft joining these two grills from the front
to the back of the property which go underneath the building.
I do not think this has been taken into consideration at all.
12541. If we move on to exhibit JP6 you will
see the actual light well.
This light well is about 70 feet high and you will see that little
glistening object there, that is in fact the manhole cover at
the bottom of it, which I am indicating on the screen there, these
special site conditions being at the crossroads with the underground
12542. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Is this
supposed to taken with you lying on your back looking upwards?
12543. MR PAYNE: I am looking down hanging
over the light well.
12544. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: I just
wondered how the manhole cover came to be at the bottom.
12545. MR PAYNE: That is right, again
the light and air well, it carries all the service pipes and everything,
and Crossrail are saying there are no special features.
12546. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Thank
12547. MR PAYNE: If you ever put your
ear against a chimney, especially a lined one with a stainless
steel liner, you can hear a pin drop.
12548. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: I did
not mean to distract you. I just wanted to get it clear.
12549. MR PAYNE: So these large ducts
going horizontally at the front at basement level, and also I
am talking about special features of the block and the apartment's
floor is concrete, and possibly, judging from my architect's journal,
there are probably stone slabs underneath there as well so these
are all special features that I consider would amplify these noises.
Do you have any comment on that, Mr Winbourne?
Yes, I think it is axiomatic that if you have any kind of shaft
or pipe or anything of that sort it will carry noise. The situation
of putting a wine glass to the wall comes to mind. It is, I suppose,
third-form physics which is about when I stopped doing physics
actually because I did not like it, but I do remember it! The
point I would make is that Mr Payne's building was designed the
way it was designed, it was not designed for or against Crossrail.
Crossrail comes along nearly 200 years later and expects to not
bother and I do not think you can do it that way. I do not accept
eithercan I just interpose a point, I know I am here as
a witness with your leave sirMr Potel the witness that
was spoken about before, apparently (we did not know this) has
particular knowledge of construction and acoustics which we only
found out about today, and that is a simple fact that we simply
did not know, and that is one of the reasons why it is not simply
what you have at the back of the bundle here but there is more
to it that he could give evidence on and it would be of considerable
importance to these Petitioners and others.
12550. Thank you. If I continue now with further
comparisons, as I said before, with the Central Line noise that
I actually experienced, this is an operating underground railway
about a quarter of the size of Crossrail, as I said. The description
of recent events experienced with the Central Line are casting
further doubts on Crossrail noise predictions in the running of
the railway. Now could you move to exhibit 7 please.
These are pictures of recent engineering works carried out on
the Central Line. You can see here this is actually the station
platform at Lancaster Gate and these are in fact, I believe they
are timber sleepers with the running railway on it so they obviously
give a good solid bed to the railway. In January 2007 engineering
works were carried out. They suspended it several weekends in
a row and in the middle of the night you could hear these pneumatic
hammers going like they were next to your bed. They were transmitting
the sound 80 or 90 metres away. You could hear it so clearly.
I was trying to think what was going on so I went down on the
platform (when the railway was open again of course) and this
is now exhibit JP8, and you can see what was going on, they were
replacing the wooden sleepers with these concrete ones, so I am
saying basically that they are taking way the heavy timber sleeper
track supports and by inference replacing it by those concrete
sleeper track supports. There was a marked increase in noise reported
by many residents. My neighbour will also testify to that. We
believe that the concrete transmitted the vibrations from the
train axels more markedly than before. Surely the timber must
have deadened the vibrations. This is the only conclusion I could
get. If they were refurbishing the track surely this was a good
opportunity to design it with a better track support to help mitigate
the noise; but they did not.
12551. Points of concern to note about this,
there has apparently been no consultation with residents about
this extra noise nuisance or social cost; it is just imposed.
Furthermore, when I asked Graham King of Westminster City Council
he also had no information to hand. Is there any regulatory body
looking into this? These are works that go on on the underground
railway with apparently no consultation with residents. They just
do that. This could well reflect on what is going to happen on
what is Crossrail when they build it to their existing track specification,
they cannot go backwards.
12552. During the recent Mayoral Elections,
the campaigners had policies that would mean greater frequency
of trains and later operating of trains. Again, will there be
any consultation with residents so affected by these anti-social
time zones? At the time of the 1994 Crossrail Private Member's
Bill, Westminster City Council also undertook a report on the
Central Line. A noise reading was taken in my flat. A copy of
this report has never been forthcoming despite me asking. Generally
a common reply from Crossrail to a pertinent question is "There
are remaining technical issues that can only be worked out later
at the detailed design stage." We are told about the much-heralded
Crossrail document "Construction and Community Relations
Strategy Framework". I indeed replied recently to the draft
with a couple of fundamental points. These are basically to safeguard
people after Royal Assent, which looks like all we have got to
rely on, firstly, that there should be an independent arbiter
on any disputes/claims not established by CTRL as stated. Secondly,
as intended after Royal Assent the monthly report which is in
this document, including detailed design, would only be given
to local authorities on request. I suggested reporting to local
authorities should be automatic. From this indication it would
imply that residents' associations and Petitioners like myself
will not be consulted on undecided technical decisions affecting
their properties but local authorities might be. Is it therefore
intended that residents' associations and Petitioners like myself
will be shut out of this process? Mr Winbourne, what dangers can
you see in this?
(Mr Winbourne) A great deal I would have
thought. You have concentrated on the after use of the railway,
if I can call it that, because we have comparisons with the Central
Line, which is in itself bad enough. What you have not mentioned
particularly is the fact that you are looking at something like
a three- or four-year construction period with a huge construction
underground which is not being addressed as far as I can see and
you are adjacent to what amounts to a huge ghost station. That
is why the tracks divide. I made the point earlier, my Lord, about
the tracks dividing towards the so-called shaft. Whatever they
are saying now about people walking alongside, I think it is probably
a problematic issue because an EIP (emergency intervention point)
which is what this constitutes, an island platform with low lighting
permanently on, as onand there is only one in Londonthe
Jubilee Line with the tracks on either side so that a train can
be stopped there, in this case we are talking about up to a 12-coach
train, full size, for people to get out and evacuate. It is not
simply for firemen or police or whatever to get in. Imagine if
at 7/7 for example and you had a bomb where you wanted to stop
a train, and you could not get into the station; this is what
it is about. If stations are more than one kilometre apart, it
is mandatory that there be an emergency intervention point.
12553. CHAIRMAN: Mr Payne, you are meant
to be speaking to your Petition. There is nothing about emergency
intervention shafts or 7/7 or anything of the sort in there. You
must stick to your Petition. We cannot hear anything that goes
outside your Petition.
12554. MR PAYNE: My Petition actually
does have something on the air vent. There was originally an air
vent, an EIP, at Victoria Gate. It is one of the items in my Petition.
The Committee suspended from 4.27 pm to
4.39 pm for a Division in the House
12555. CHAIRMAN: May I ask what the point
you are making at the moment has got to do with the introduction
of floating slab track under your house?
12556. MR PAYNE: Yes, it is all about
noise predictions and measurements. The 15-metre rule, if my property
12557. CHAIRMAN: What has it got to do
with the ventilation shaft in Hyde Park?
12558. MR PAYNE: I will be coming to
that in a minute.
12559. CHAIRMAN: I hope that it will
be a very few minutes.
26 Committee Ref: A67, View of an air vent at Stanhope
Terrace (SCN-20080507-024) Back
Committee Ref: A67, View of an air vent inside a light well at
Stanhope Terrace (SCN-20080507-025) Back
Committee Ref: A67, View of a light well at Stanhope Terrace
Committee Ref: A67, View of engineering works carried out on
the Central Line (SCN-20080507-027 to -028) Back