Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12705
Ordered at 10.05am: that Counsel and Parties be called
12705. CHAIRMAN: Ms Lieven, we might
as well start.
12706. MS LIEVEN: Yes, my Lord. My Lords,
before we start with the Petitioners for the day, there are a
few housekeeping matters to deal with and, just to mention where
we think we are on the programme, we believe that the only Petitioners
who are going to attend today are the Residents' Association of
Mayfair, the Coalition, and Mr Walters. If there is anybody else,
perhaps they will make themselves known to us, but we believe
that everybody else is not attending.
12707. Now, so far as housekeeping matters are
concerned, I am just going to touch on the matter raised by Lord
James yesterday with myself and Mr Berryman and then Mr Taylor
is going to touch on railway issues where I think there is something
to say. I am conscious that there are two other outstanding issues.
One is noise from construction trains in response to a question
asked yesterday by Lord Brooke. We are still doing some work on
that, so we will try and let the Committee know what information
we have got later in the course of the day. The other is to provide
some kind of summary of where information has been made available
in respect of the Coalition. I believe that is being sorted out
as I speak, but I will touch on it in opening when I get to the
Coalition and the Society and the Mayfair residents.
12708. CHAIRMAN: I think it may save
a great deal of time.
12709. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, I hope, as
I say, that it is being sorted out. If I can just start by dealing
with the matter that Lord James raised with myself yesterday.
Yesterday evening Lord James drew our attention to the existence
of a large burial site in the area of Farringdon Station, that
is, between the market building and Charterhouse Square.
This is a map not in quite the same form as our usual maps, but
these are the Crossrail platforms at Farringdon (indicating).
Farringdon Tube Station is over here to the west (indicating),
this is the Lindsey Street ticket hall and this is Smithfield
Market (indicating) and what is shown with the little crosses
is an historical burial site, and you can see, as Lord James has
suggested, that it is much easier to see on the screens in front
12710. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Can
we zoom in on it?
12711. MS LIEVEN: We can try, but your
Lordships will still find it easier in front of you. This is believed
to contain victims of the plague and probably victims of anthrax
at the same time. I would just confirm to your Lordships that
we are aware of this issue and the site is marked off on our maps
accompanying the Environmental Statement and this is one I have
put before you. The Museum of London Archaeological Services are
our specialist consultants on the matter and, together with our
design consultants for the area, will be responsible for management
of the issue. The design consultants have just produced the first
draft of the written scheme of investigation, one of which will
be produced for each of our sites, and thus draw attention to
this matter. The section of the written scheme of investigation
referring specifically to health and safety is not yet drafted,
but will take into account best practice measures for dealing
with these matters, so we are very grateful to Lord James for
referring us to it. As you can see, we have a good knowledge of
the area and we have the matter in hand.
12712. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: Ms Lieven,
at the risk of reducing your gratitude, can I ask a small supplementary
question please. Do you have a record of how many bodies went
into the pit?
12713. MS LIEVEN: No.
12714. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: The
figure I have got from Professor Hutchinson is 682, all from anthrax,
so it was not a bubonic plague pit. Apparently, anthrax was brought
into Smithfield with some contaminated meat in 1520 and the result
was the near wipe-out of the entire residential area of Smithfield
Market itself at that time. Therefore, the issue here is that
you cannot expect to have an easier ride because part of it is
bubonic and not harmful; it is all anthrax and, when the Metropolitan
Line was cut in 1890, it did emerge and it did kill people.
12715. MS LIEVEN: Well, my Lord, we are
very conscious of the issue and what I have confirmed to the Committee
today in absolutely clear terms is that we will use best practice
in this area to ensure health and safety. I do not want to raise
12716. LORD JAMES OF BLACKHEATH: But
it has not, I think, been covered in any previous reports or statements
on Crossrail, so I hope that whatever process of control is going
to be conducted will be incorporated in some statement following
this so that it can be openly and publicly monitored for everybody's
comfort in the future.
12717. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, absolutely
it will be. Can I just say that we, I believe, literally have
an aircraft hangar full of reports on Crossrail. There are vast
quantities of reports which of course this Committee has not needed
to look at at all or be concerned with. This matter has been considered
in reports and will continue to be so in further more detailed
investigations, so I am really very keen that we put both the
Committee's, but also potentially the public's, mind at rest about
this because we do not want scary headlines where we have considered
the matter and we really are fully in control and in knowledge
of what is happening here, so I just want to make that very clear.
12718. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Ms Lieven.
12719. MS LIEVEN: I am now going to turn
over to Mr Taylor to deal with an issue on railways.
1 Crossrail Ref: P80, Route Window C6b: Farringdon
Station (SCN-20080508-002) Back