Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12660 - 12679)

  12660. On the floating track issue, I would like to remind this Committee of a question asked of Crossrail by Kelvin Hopkins, MP, who was on the Select Committee in the Commons. On my hearing on Day 57 of the House of Commons Select Committee, reference 16669 he said: "Would it not be reasonable to err on the side of generosity to residents by putting in a floating slab track whenever it goes clearly close to where people are living rather than trying to trim ---"

  12661. CHAIRMAN: Who is this speaking?

  12662. MR PAYNE: This was Kelvin Hopkins, MP.

  12663. CHAIRMAN: A Member of the Committee.

  12664. MR PAYNE: Correct.

  12665. CHAIRMAN: We know what their conclusion was.

  12666. MR PAYNE: "because I know that there is a cost to incur", he went on, "but to trim the cost which, compared with the overall cost of the project, is fairly small, but putting in floating slab track erring, as I say, on the generous side to residents in this particular case rather than having to fit retrospectively following complaints or whatever, which might be more difficult?"

  12667. With regard to the way—and this is in the evidence, basically, that Mr Winbourne was going to produce (and I do hope that everybody will take an opportunity to read through that because it is very interesting material)—of joining up the stations as it stands now, Mr Winbourne was going to substantiate the very high cost savings that will be made. Following the failure of this Crossrail Private Member's Bill in 1994, there have been 14 years to revisit the way of joining up the stations in a better way, giving an improved cost-benefit. In that time, I have never been consulted. I have lived in that area for 14 years; nobody has ever consulted me, or heard of a transparent debate on the matter. I now contemplate for Crossrail, like Ken Livingstone's recent quote on the Olympic Games budget, he had conned the Government. Then I finish.

  12668. CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much.

  12669. MS LIEVEN: My Lords, do you want an update on where we are tomorrow?

  12670. CHAIRMAN: Yes. At the moment, I am looking to see what the House of Commons did about this Petition, which is on page 53. Tomorrow.

  12671. MS LIEVEN: We are in deep negotiation with Three Valleys. We are optimistic that we may reach agreement, but it is still outstanding at the moment. My clear instructions and understanding of the position is that there is no need to worry about having in-camera sessions; it is all about which plot to take, it is not about the security issues any longer. They may attend and if they attend it might take an hour to an hour-and-a-half, but I am optimistic that, in practice, we will settle with them.

  12672. I have just spoken to counsel for the Coalition, who is representing both the Coalition --

  12673. CHAIRMAN: He is representing both of them?

  12674. MS LIEVEN: He is representing both of them. He is seeking instructions. It seems likely that the two Petitions will be presented together.

  12675. CHAIRMAN: Good.

  12676. MS LIEVEN: At the present time, what he has said to me is he thought we could deal with it in one session—i.e. a morning session or an afternoon session. He has only confirmed one witness and that is Mr Michael Schabas. I am not sure whether the Committee has already heard from Mr Schabas.

  12677. CHAIRMAN: We have had him, yes.

  12678. MS LIEVEN: However, he is not yet sure whether it will only be the one witness. We have not received any evidence from them, from either the Residents Association of Mayfair or from the Coalition, but I think it would be fair to say that if it is Mr Schabas who gives evidence then he gave evidence on the Residents Association of Mayfair Petition last time.

  12679. CHAIRMAN: If one looks at the Petition it appears they are talking about alternative routes.



 
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