Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 460 - 474)



Christine Russell

  460. Can I ask all three of you whether or not you believe that developers should cough up for the cost of improving the Underground?
  (Mr Goulcher) Shall I start?

  461. Briefly?
  (Mr Goulcher) In brief, where the development leads to a capacity problem and where the development is gaining in terms of commercial income from an expansion of capacity to meet that extra demand we believe it is appropriate for a contribution to be made.

  462. You already told us or accepted there is a capacity problem on the Central Line therefore why was there no developer's money forthcoming from the Heron Development, where there had been for the Jubilee Line extension and the Canary Wharf development?
  (Mr Goulcher) The upgrade project on the Central Line in planning and the financial approval preceded that development activity. In any event, the difficulty there would be distinguishing between the impact of a specific development, for example, on a particular station and the general impact of economic development, where it is very difficult to attribute required infrastructure to a particular commercial development. That is the difficulty. In those circumstances there is obviously a role for local authorities to play in trying to bring together as much contribution as possible.

  463. Greater integration.
  (Mr Palmer) The principle that developers contribute to things, improvements to roundabouts or highway widening has been long enshrined in planning approaches. The difficulty with public transport, of course, is the on-going support of public transport services. Most developers are quite prepared and will accept the fact that they may have to pay money towards providing new infrastructure, it is the on-going commitment where they start having some concerns.

  464. What about a one-off Underground station upgrade, would that not be a reasonable request?
  (Mr Palmer) That might be a reasonable request, the trouble is it is very expensive.

  465. Would you like to be put a cost on that?
  (Mr Palmer) I would not.
  (Mr Goulcher) There are examples where that has happened, Fulham Broadway at the moment is on site, although it is a project entirely funded by a developer there.

Mrs Dunwoody

  466. Fulham Green.
  (Mr Goulcher) Park Royal development is planning a new station on the Central Line.

Christine Russell

  467. Can you tell the Committee how much it would cost to get this five per cent extra capacity on the Central Line?
  (Mr Goulcher) In terms of train service capacity, as I was saying, there really is no scope for increasing capacity.


  468. How much would it cost?
  (Mr Goulcher) Technically it could not be done, it is not a matter of money.

  469. You cannot increase the Central Line capacity by five per cent?
  (Mr Goulcher) Over the next three or four years we will do.

  470. How much is that going to cost you?
  (Mr Goulcher) To do that?

  471. Yes.
  (Mr Goulcher) At the moment it is the cost of additional train operators, and so forth, small numbers of millions.

  472. Small numbers of millions.
  (Mr Goulcher) As opposed to the Central Line project which is 800 or 900 million
  (Mr McKenna) The cost of most of it has already been spent.

  473. How much does it cost to upgrade an underground station?
  (Mr McKenna) Anything between five million and 100 million. Bigger stations will be at the bigger end of that.

  474. That is the sort of scale.
  (Mr McKenna) We are talking about spending nearly quarter of a billion at King's Cross.

  Chairman: On that note can I thank you very much for your evidence.

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