Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12640 - 12659)

  12640. MR MOULD: Yes please, just to ask him one question, if I may.

  12641. CHAIRMAN: By all means.

MR THORNELY-TAYLOR, recalled Examined by MR MOULD

  12642. MR MOULD: Mr Thornely-Taylor, when I opened on this Petition I gave the Committee some information about predicted groundborne noise level for the operation of Crossrail railway as it passes beneath Mr Payne's property. You heard what I said, I think. Can you confirm that what I say was accurate?

   (Mr Thornely-Taylor) Yes, it was accurate.

  12643. Thank you very much. Mr Payne has drawn attention to the fact that he currently experiences noise from the running of trains through the Central Line which runs broadly along the line of Bayswater Road. You heard him say that?

   (Mr Thornely-Taylor) Yes I did indeed.

  12644. We have just established the relationship between the Central Line and the Crossrail railway, that is to say the Central Line is running above the Crossrail railway in this vicinity. That being the case, can you just assist the Committee which is what is likely in your judgment going to be the principal source of groundborne noise when both of those railways are operational so far as Mr Paine's property is concerned?

   (Mr Thornely-Taylor) The Central Line will remain the principal source of the groundborne noise, not only because of its shallower depth but because of the manner in which the rails are rigidly fastened to the sleepers, as shown in Mr Payne's photographs. It does not have the benefit of all the vibration isolation features that I have described on several occasions to the Committee, and therefore it is basically a much noisier underground railway.

  12645. CHAIRMAN: Is it a jointed track?

   (Mr Thornely-Taylor) There are joints on the Central Line; whether there are joints in this particular location I have not checked.

  12646. MR MOULD: In the light of that, can you comment on whether Mr Payne will experience any benefit at all were Crossrail to be constructed by means of floating slab track in this location as opposed to a standard resilient track?

   (Mr Thornely-Taylor) No, it would remain the case that the Central Line was the dominant source of underground railway noise.

  12647. MR MOULD: Thank you very much.

  12648. CHAIRMAN: Mr Payne, have you got any questions for Mr Thornely-Taylor?

  12649. MR PAYNE: No, I have not.

  12650. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Thornely-Taylor.

The witness withdrew

  12651. CHAIRMAN: We can go on to a quarter past five thanks to the shorthand writers.

  12652. MR MOULD: The principal point which Mr Payne has argued before you today is that the Committee should require the Promoters to commit to the installation of floating slab track along the running tunnels in the vicinity of his property. He has made that submission on the basis that on a true analysis of the dimensional relationship between his property and the running tunnels across the Crossrail scheme he falls within rather than without what we have come to know as the 15-metre rule. In the light of Mr Berryman's evidence, there was reference to the submitted plans and sections and the dimensions shown on those which, as your Lordships will appreciate, govern the depth at which, subject to limits of deviation, running tunnels must be constructed. There is no prospect of Crossrail being constructed at a depth which is less than 15 metres. In fact, it will be constructed at a depth at which the track is approximately 29 metres below Mr Payne's basement, so on that footing Mr Payne's case simply falls away.

  12653. In any event, as Mr Thornely-Taylor has just explained, given the presence of the Central Line and the predictions which we have for the groundborne noise that is likely to emanate from the Crossrail railway when it is operating, there is simply no advantage to be gained so far as Mr Payne is concerned in having a special track form provided in the running tunnels as it passes in the vicinity of his property. The principal source of groundborne noise when he is lying in his bed at the present time is the Central Line; it will remain the Central Line because of the physical relationship between the two railways once the Crossrail railway has been built and is operating. So not only is there no basis in his argument based on the 15-metre rule; there is simply no advantage in terms of benefit to him, or indeed to other residents of the block within which his property is located, were this Committee to require Crossrail to install a special track form as his position seeks. On that basis, I would invite the Committee to reject the point which he has put before you today.

  12654. One other matter: I know that in his written submissions Mr Winbourne and Mr Payne have made submissions about the adequacy of the compensation code. I have made the submission in opening that he is entitled, in principle, in the event that his property sustains injurious affection by virtue of the impact of the scheme, to make a claim under section 7 of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965. That is the case, and in my submission that provides him with adequate compensation in accordance with the ordinary principles of law which govern compensation in these circumstances, in the very unlikely event that he sustains damage to his property as a result of the construction or operation of Crossrail. Thank you very much.

  12655. CHAIRMAN: Mr Payne, there are four minutes today. I do not know how long you want. You have got the final word in this, and if you cannot do it in four minutes then I think it is probably better if we come back in the morning. I do not want to rush you; four minutes is not a lot of time.

  12656. MR PAYNE: No. Again, I felt under a lot of pressure during that little break we had earlier on, when we were talking about a large part of my evidence from Mr Winbourne to do with compensation and all the rest of it. I understand that Mr Mould would be sympathetic to have that part read. Is that correct?

  12657. MR MOULD: That is what I have just said.

  12658. MR PAYNE: My Lord, if that is fine then I do not need to go on any further with that. My closing points now really are that, obviously, I will stand by my measurements regarding distance from my building properly to the nearest piece of concrete that is going to cause vibrations, and I will not go back on that.

  12659. I would also like to add, has anybody actually built a similar-sized railway like Crossrail under a listed building like this? Invariably, before, like the cross-Channel Rail Link, that follows existing railways or major roads; this is the first time that a tunnel system like this is going to be built under valuable listed buildings. Also, English Heritage do not seem to be here to argue the case for us.

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