Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12560 - 12579)

  12560. MR PAYNE: It will be a few minutes. The last of my exhibits is JP9 which is a long way from the Central Line or Crossrail, but again I have superimposed my building on top of it.[30] It does show the twin tunnels in operation below the fragile building and it is a makeup picture of the twin tunnels on the motorway M20 near Folkestone and I have superimposed my block to try and give a daylight impression of the proximity of the proposed Crossrail shallow construction and its effect. It is not exactly to scale, but there are some interesting parallels. If you can imagine what that looks like, you can see it in the daylight. I have one last question for Mr Winbourne on this. Will floating slab track solve the problem?

  (Mr Winbourne) I do not believe it will. It will help, but I think your building is more at risk than floating slab track can suffice. Nevertheless, I think it should be a given on the scheme.

  12561. MR PAYNE: Moving on now to Hyde Park and the Victoria Gate ventilation surface structure, as I call it, and emergency intervention shafts or points or maybe you could call it a `ghost station' or something like that, I was handed a new plan by—

  12562. CHAIRMAN: What has this got to do with floating slab track?

  12563. MR PAYNE: I have finished that section now, my Lord.

  12564. CHAIRMAN: Well, what has it got to do with your Petition?

  12565. MR PAYNE: My Petition exactly says—

  12566. CHAIRMAN: That you object to it.

  12567. MR PAYNE: Well, I am just concerned about it. My Petition "objects to the Bill due to proper planning and clarity for mitigating effects of construction of the emergency intervention point and vent in Hyde Park at Victoria Gate which is situated extremely close to the block and its access routes. In particular, removal of any spoil by road and potential diverted traffic chaos caused by any closure of North and West Carriage Drives", and that is in my Petition.

  12568. CHAIRMAN: Yes, it is.

  12569. MR PAYNE: There is still no confirmation about the real size of the structure, or maybe there is a little bit more now, or that lorries carrying the spoil will not use Victoria Gate. If there is any blockage, traffic is gridlocked in Brook Street and into Stanhope Terrace, Sussex Square, and residents' cars cannot even leave our driveway, which you saw, I believe. These decisions again appear to be subject to later stages in Crossrail planning. I have had some reassurance from Mr Mould on this this morning, but, as far as I can see, there is no categorical sort of statement at the moment. The Royal Parks face a huge loss of amenity and appear to be just hamstrung by a major infrastructure project. Crossrail should release details of changes in a statement to all Petitioners, not just like a press release or occasional letter. Surely Crossrail do not have to jump through hoops to provide these assurances. Coaches incidentally, and this is in reply to Mr Mould earlier saying that large vehicles do not normally use the park, in fact coaches do use the entrance at Victoria Gate, and it is very busy there in the summer and with large music festivals, so we do have some experience of what happens, but on a very temporary basis. I understand that this structure at Victoria Gate could well be there or the construction could be over seven years. Mr Winbourne, do you have any comment on this?

   (Mr Winbourne) Very quickly because time is short, my Lords. I was going to say this at the point when the bells rang. I am looking at the previous drawing that we had, which is this one in Mr Payne's submission (indicating) and I am trying to be quick because I am conscious of the time. You will see the tunnels diverging to the structure that was shown there. Now, I do not have a problem with the fact that they have altered the structure—I do not think you need to go into that—but the point I was seeking to make is that, if, as I believe is essential, there were to be an island platform, it would be stretching, and that is why the tracks diverge, towards the structure we are talking about, Mr Payne's building. It could be within a very short distance and we are talking about not a driven tunnel here, but hand-mined. It is like the stations, they are all hand-mined out. It is a totally different construction process and I think that that is being, if you like, minimised in the evidence, but I think it is terribly important for your Committee to understand this, that that is what we are looking at. These are vast, cavernous stations. The fact that it is a ghost station without any ticket halls or anything does not mean that what is down at the bottom of the shafts is not important and that is incredibly close to where we are. It is within, I do not know, I suspect the end of the platform will be within about 20 or 30 yards, in old money, and what I am simply saying is that my experience from Wardens Grove, my Lord, in Bermondsey was much closer than that, the building was next door to it, and it was gone into in depth. There is something else I would wish to mention and that is that I believe it is the same gentleman, that one of the experts that was on the papers that I was looking at in connection with that was Mr Rupert Taylor and I assume it is the same Mr Rupert Taylor as we had in this room, so the suggestion that there was nothing like that on the Jubilee Line does not follow and I think that your Committee should be aware of that.

  12570. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: You are saying that there is a station there?

   (Mr Winbourne) I am saying that, if it is an emergency intervention point, then it is almost certainly in the form of an island platform between the twin tunnels and that is why the lines diverge, as they do on any railway with an island platform, and that is the reason for that configuration and the shaft will be in the middle.

  12571. MR MOULD: I am sorry to interrupt, Mr Winbourne, but it may be helpful just to make it clear that this is to be an emergency intervention shaft which will have a short cross-passage between the running tunnels at the foot of the shaft, and that is the sum total of the physical structure that will exist in order to enable the shaft to operate.

  12572. CHAIRMAN: That is what I understood.

   (Mr Winbourne) That is what they say, sir. I do not believe that that will suffice.

  12573. All right, we hear you do not believe it, but that is what they say.

   (Mr Winbourne) I have said what I have said about that. I believe Mr Payne has some more things.

  12574. MR PAYNE: No, I am just about finished. It is back to Mr Mould.

  12575. CHAIRMAN: Mr Mould, what do you want to do about this?

  12576. MR MOULD: Well, my Lord, I do not want to ask Mr Winbourne any questions. I want to correct one or two matters of fact, but it is much better if I ask Mr Berryman to do that.

  12577. CHAIRMAN: I think that would be right.

  12578. MR MOULD: So, unless there are any questions from your Lordships, perhaps Mr Winbourne would very kindly leave the stand.

  12579. CHAIRMAN: Mr Winbourne, thank you very much indeed.

The witness withdrew

30   Committee Ref: A67, Petitioner's impression of the proximity of the proposed Crossrail tunnels (SCN-20080507-029) Back

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