Select Committee on Crossrail First Special Report

4  Specific local changes to the Bill and relevant undertakings

Register of Undertakings and Assurances

35. Some Petitioners against the Crossrail Bill were offered assurances or undertakings by the Promoter either in the Committee hearings or during discussions. These undertakings set out what a Petitioner could expect from the Promoter. The Department for Transport have recently published the first draft of the Crossrail Undertakings and Assurances Register. The register is intended to capture all the individual undertakings and assurances given to Petitioners in a single document thus ensuring that the 'nominated undertaker' (the person who will in due course be appointed to construct Crossrail), as well as the Secretary of State for Transport or any other organisation exercising the Bill powers, complies with them. The Committee understands that the register will form part of the Crossrail Environmental Minimum Requirements (EMRs) and that an undertaking has been given that 'any nominated undertaker will be contractually bound to comply with the controls set out in the EMRs'.[22] Therefore, we are reassured that the nominated undertaker will be contractually required to comply with the undertakings and assurances given by the Promoter in Committee and in private negotiation with Petitioners.

36. Many Petitioners were not clear which undertakings applied to their particular case. With this in mind, the Committee required the Promoter to write to every Petitioner whose property was affected on the route to state specifically which undertakings applied to their property and what level of comfort those undertakings would provide to the Petitioner. Furthermore, we now expect the Promoter to ensure that all assurances and undertakings given to Petitioners are written in clear and direct terms. We are concerned that the draft Register of Undertakings and Assurances, published by the Department for Transport, is not user-friendly. The Crossrail Bill is a complicated piece of legislation. The public needs to have a clear understanding of the impact of the Bill, how each area will be affected by it and what action will be taken by the Promoter to mitigate any impact. We look to the Committee in the House of Lords to ensure that further clarity is achieved before the Bill reaches Royal Assent.

Smithfield Market Tenants Association

37. The members of the Smithfield Market Tenants Association, were the tenants and traders in the London Central Markets in the City of London, more commonly known as the Smithfield meat market. The tenants held business leases of their respective shops and offices from the City of London for terms, typically, of 10 years ending December 2009 but renewable under Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The membership of the Association comprised all the active market traders bar one.

38. The Committee agreed that the tenants of Smithfield Market were not covered by the compensation provisions in an appropriate manner due to the exceptional and historic nature of their business. The Committee invited the Promoter to draw up an alternative provision which would provide the tenants with the right to claim compensation in circumstances where a specific level of loss was experienced.

Charterhouse Street

39. SAVE Britain's Heritage is a registered charity and a Petitioner against the Bill. It was founded to campaign publicly for the protection of threatened historic buildings and areas. Following the petition of Save Britain's Heritage, we asked the Promoter to explore and assess alternatives to the compulsory purchase of 33-37 Charterhouse Street. In response to our request, the Promoter commissioned an engineering study which showed that there were no suitable alternatives which would not have more significant effects on the area than the current Bill scheme. For this reason, we agreed that the Promoter should continue with the original proposal.

Christchurch, Spitalfields, and St Dunstan and All Saints Church, Stepney

40. The Christchurch, Spitalfields and, St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney churches were going to be affected by the Crossrail tunnelling works. There was considerable concern that the vibration from the Crossrail works could damage the structural stability of valuable community churches. It was also a concern that the noise of the tunnelling machine would interfere with the services and concerts held within these historic churches. The Committee was convinced that that these churches required the maximum level of noise and vibration mitigation and that they should not be expected to pay for the monitoring of any impact on the structures of the churches due to the tunnelling work. We expected the Promoter to pay for independent assessment and monitoring of both these churches during the works. We were pleased with the undertakings given by the Promoter to these churches in response to our concerns.

Ealing Broadway

41. Ealing Broadway is a National Rail and London Underground station in Ealing in west London. National Rail services are provided by First Great Western and Heathrow Connect and London Underground services are provided by the District and Central Lines. The Committee was concerned about the interaction of the Crossrail project with the existing services and asked the Promoter to demonstrate that a good cross-platform interchange could be made available at Ealing Broadway between the Reading and Crossrail lines. The Committee was pleased that the Promoter agreed that 'same platform' interchange would be possible at Ealing Broadway.

EMI Limited

42. The EMI Group is a major British record company. EMI Music operates several labels, based in Kensington in London, England, United Kingdom. We were told that EMI owned two premises 12 Goslett Yard and parts of 127 Charing Cross Road, that would be affected by the Crossrail Bill. Goslett Yard was to be acquired and demolished for the Eastern Ticket Hall of the proposed Tottenham Court Road Station. 127 Charing Cross Road would be above and adjacent to the proposed ticket hall and the westbound platform tunnel at the proposed Tottenham Court Road Station. The Committee heard that at the time of the announcement of Crossrail, EMI was in the commencement of major refurbishment of its offices and studios at 12 Goslett Road, which housed. recording studios that were acoustically sensitive.[23]

43. The Committee listened carefully to the case of EMI. We noted that the scheduled refurbishment of the EMI building would increase the value of the property and that this increased value would have to be built into any compulsory purchase order negotiation. Therefore, in order to keep the cost to the public purse as low as possible, we insisted that the Petitioners should be subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) as soon as practicable after Royal Assent.

44. The Promoter agreed to offer EMI an undertaking to purchase their building at a time of EMI's choosing from the date of Royal Assent.

Fairfield Conservation Area Residents Association

45. The Association appeared before the Committee in October 2006 because they were concerned about the impact of Crossrail on Grove Hall Park, the only green space in the area. We heard evidence from the Promoter and the Association and we were satisfied that the Promoter had taken necessary precautions to minimise the disruption to the park. However we remained concerned about the possible affect on the park. The Committee therefore stated that we would like to see Crossrail have a positive long term impact on this valued green space. We asked the Promoter to liaise with the Association and the Community to agree a suitable further enhancement of the park, following the Crossrail works.

46. The Promoter subsequently met with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to discuss its plans for enhancing the park, and has spoken to and met with representatives of the Fairfield Conservation Area Residents Association to begin discussions on what they would most like to see in terms of enhancements to the park. We are pleased that the Promoter will require the nominated undertaker to work with the Fairfield Conservation Area Residents Association, and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as the relevant local authority and landowner, in order to deliver an appropriate enhancement to the park following the Crossrail works.

GE Pensions Limited

47. GE Pensions Limited is a UK company forming part of the GE Life Pensions and Insurance Group. The company owns the freehold interest of 354 to 358 Oxford Street and 1 Marylebone Lane which was proposed for compulsory acquisition for the construction of a new London Underground ticket hall and congestion relief scheme. The Petitioner wished to enter into an Over-site Development Agreement that would allow the company to use the land over the Crossrail stations or structures in that area.

48. We agreed with the Petitioners that they should have the option of entering into an Over-site Development Agreement with the Promoter. We were encouraged to hear that further discussion would take place between to the two parties on this issue and we asked the Promoter to ensure that such an agreement is offered to the Petitioners.

Great Western Allotment Association

49. The Great Western Allotment Association (GWAA) represented owners of the Noel Road allotments in West Acton. The Crossrail Bill made provision for the temporary relocation of the Noel Road allotments. The Committee was told that local people from a wide variety of backgrounds and ethnicities worked side-by-side in the allotments, growing a range of produce from potatoes to honey. The area has been used as allotments since the war. The Petitioners were concerned about the quality of the provision during the period of the relocation.

50. The Committee asked the Promoter to prepare and till the new site for the allotment. We expected Crossrail to work in liaison with the Association to ensure that the location proposed by the Promoter will provide the allotment owners with workable plots with enhanced compensatory service arrangements incorporated. We expected the Promoter to enter meaningful discussion with the Association as soon as practicable to agree the terms of such services and facilities.

51. The Promoter told us that the nominated undertaker would be required to provide the replacement of temporary allotments in a condition fit for use as allotments for planting in the next planting season. The requirement would include clearing and levelling of the land, and providing appropriate fencing, paths between the allotments, and a metered water supply under an appropriate supplier agreement. The Promoter would also require the nominated undertaker to provide members of the Great Western Allotment Association who were required to move to the temporary allotments, who at the time of the move own sheds or greenhouses at the Noel Road allotments, with new equivalent facilities at the temporary allotments or, where it was practicable to do so, to relocate their existing facilities.

52. Furthermore, following discussions with the Association, the Promoter agreed to require the nominated undertaker to provide a temporary access footpath linking the temporary allotments to Churchill Gardens for the duration of the construction period, and to furnish the access footpath with suitable lighting. The Association had confirmed that the nature of the services and facilities that the Promoter was proposing to provide at the replacement temporary allotments met with its approval and that it did not wish to be provided with electricity at the temporary allotments. We therefore understand that the Promoter does not intend to provide electricity to the temporary allotments.

London Borough of Havering

53. The London Borough of Havering appeared in Committee to highlight their concern that the planned Crossrail works at Romford Station did not provide adequate facilities for mobility impaired people . The Promoter, at the request of the Committee, worked with the London Borough and explored the possibility of:

a)  building a southern entrance through the existing station structure,

b)  widening of the existing mezzanine passageway, and

c)  how the design of the station foyer and treatment of the area beneath the railway bridge could improve access to the station from the south.

54. The Committee invited the Promoter to find a way to provide appropriate access for mobility-impaired people to the developed station in the location of the current ramp. We re-emphasise the need for implementing disability-friendly policies and we remain grateful to the London Borough of Havering and Crossrail for the redesign of the station to ensure that passengers can access the building readily. We expect the same level of regard to be shown in providing access for those with disabilities across the entire breadth of the Crossrail operations.

National Council of the Cycling Touring Club

55. The National Council of the Cycling Touring Club petitioned against the Bill to ensure that the views and concerns of cyclists were taken into account throughout the Crossrail project. The Committee required Crossrail to continue its dialogue with the National Council of the Cycling Touring Club to ensure that the policy on the carriage of cycles was well informed.

56. The Committee accepts that the train operating company, not Crossrail, will decide the final policy but we expect it to be cycle-friendly and in line with Transport for London and London Underground policy. We asked the Promoter to highlight which stations on the route would be suitable for cyclists to safely enter and exit the Crossrail service and we are delighted that the Information Paper E2, 'Cycle Carriage and Cycle Parking', has been updated to include a map, similar in principle to London Underground's 'Bicycles on the Underground' map, that provisionally shows where it will be possible to take cycles on the Crossrail route.

Paddington Residents' Active Concern on Transport

57. Paddington Residents' Active Concern on Transport, known as 'PRACT', was a consortium established in 1986 of four residents' associations. The Committee recognised that the residents of Brewers Court will be affected by the Bill. We therefore asked the Promoter to provide a liaison officer to make contact with the residents and to assist them with issues during the construction phase of the project. We also asked Crossrail to adopt the model recommended by the Committee in relation to the Spitalfields residents, namely to establish a local liaison group which would include local residents and local community leaders who would then be able to liaise with Crossrail throughout the construction period.

58. We welcomed the response from the Promoter which has confirmed that a dedicated community liaison point of contact for the Paddington area would be assigned in due course, and that the local community would be notified of the relevant contact details nearer to the start of construction.

59. The Promoter has discussed the Committee's recommendation on the establishment of a local liaison group for the Paddington area with Westminster City Council, Paddington Residents' Active Concern on Transport, and the Brewers Court Residents Association. The Promoter reported to the Committee that there was a broad consensus on a way forward that fits the needs of the area, and confirmed that such a local liaison group would be established in due course.


60. We were also concerned that the construction of Crossrail and the traffic restrictions in place at the edge of the Congestion Zone would severely restrict the people who live within, or travel through, this area. We asked that the Promoter liaise with the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) to seek a sensible way forward on this matter with a view to the temporary or permanent alteration of the boundary of the Congestion Zone to accommodate a more friendly and sustainable use of the area.

61. The Promoter discussed the possibility of relocating the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) boundary at Paddington with both TfL and Westminster City Council as requested. The Committee was informed that the discussions looked at both relocating the boundary temporarily during Crossrail construction, and permanently relocating it. We welcome the fact that TfL has raised no objection in principle at this stage to either the temporary or permanent relocation of the boundary, but we understand that further survey and modelling work is likely to be required by TfL to assess the impacts at Paddington and consequential impacts over the wider area before it can offer an informed view.

62. The Committee accepts that any relocation of the boundary would be a matter for TfL. However, as Crossrail is jointly promoted by TfL we remain firmly of the view that this matter is within the influence of the Promoter. We look to Crossrail and TfL to make a sensible commitment to relocating the Congestion Zone boundary.


63. Shenfield is a major station on the Great Eastern Main Line from Liverpool Street station in the City of London to places in the East of England. It is located in Shenfield in the borough of Brentwood in Essex. The station is served by fast trains on the main line to Liverpool Street and also the stopping services of the Shenfield Metro of which it is the eastern terminus. It is proposed that the Crossrail scheme should terminate there.

64. It is appropriate to note that at the time for receiving petitions against the Bill, the Committee had no power to consider arguments relating to the alteration of the termini as proposed in the Bill. This was clearly set out in the Instruction passed by the House at Second Reading. However, there was some confusion in the debate relating to the interpretation of this Instruction. It is regrettable that the public was not given a clear message and consequently the Committee received many petitions requesting a change of the terminus for Crossrail. We heard the cases of these Petitioners on the understanding that, should we agree that a case had been made, the Committee would have to request that the House amend the Instruction agreed at Second Reading to give the Committee the power to make the necessary changes to the Bill. The Committee agreed that it did not wish to amend the bill on this issue and therefore no further procedural action was necessary. The third Instruction to the Committee, passed on 12 January 2006, allowed the Committee to consider the cases before it, albeit in a restricted manner.

65. The Committee heard extensively from residents on the issue of the terminus at Shenfield and the consequent impact on the area and for individual residents. We were grateful that the residents in Shenfield were able to put these concerns to us. The main concern for residents was that a positive case for the Crossrail terminus at Shenfield had not been made. Residents told us that they lived in an area of great character. They argued that the impact and the long-term effect of Crossrail on the area was uncertain. Petitioners argued that Crossrail would not benefit the town. The Promoter told us that the line could not terminate elsewhere without incurring greater cost.

66. In relation to the effect on the character of Shenfield, the Promoter accepted there could be an impact on the area. However, those impacts would be temporary and the Promoter argued that the area would not permanently lose the character of which residents had spoken.

67. Whilst we have every sympathy with the residents of this town, we are minded to agree with the Promoter that the station terminus should be sited here. We asked the Promoter to demonstrate that they had worked closely with the local community to ensure that appropriate noise insulation would be provided to those who would be affected by the Crossrail works.

Southend Arterial Road Action Group

68. The Southend Arterial Road Action Group were the residents of houses built in, a cul-de-sac located alongside the Southend arterial road. Crossrail proposed to carry out works to extend and modernise existing sidings at Gidea Park, close to the arterial road. The Promoter wished to provide road access to the Gidea Park worksite (via Hall Road). We were told that the majority of the railway works in this area would be served by rail and that deliveries would include the rails, the ballast and other supplies of that kind. However, ready mix concrete would need to be brought in by road and the Promoter wished to gain access from the arterial road. The Petitioners were concerned that the amount of traffic and the size of vehicles suggested by the Promoter was not suitable for a cul-de-sac. We understood that at the peak period of construction there would be about 12 concrete lorries a day travelling along the Hall Road.[24]

69. The Committee agreed with the Petitioner that the cul-de-sac was not appropriate for the level of access proposed. We insisted that the Promoter found an alternative access to this worksite. The Promoter was able, on the re-examination of this issue, to propose a different site access point which did not affect the residents.

Barbara and Tony Wheeler and Emma Jeffery

70. Mr and Mrs Wheeler appeared before the Committee on two occasions, concerned about the impact of the Crossrail tunnels beneath their property. They were also affected by the placement of two worksites in close proximity to their house.

71. The Mr and Mrs Wheeler requested that floating slab track be used in the tunnels under their houses to minimise the noise of trains. The Committee also heard a petition from Ms Emma Jeffery, whose property would be located 15 metres above the same tunnel who had similar concerns.

72. We accepted that Mr and Mrs Wheeler would be clearly affected by these works and we are keen to see that efforts are made to protect them, in addition to the mitigation offered by the Promoter.

73. The Promoter agreed to instruct the nominated undertaker to install floating slab track as the permanent track support system in the Crossrail running tunnels below these properties. We were delighted to note that the installation of floating slab track under the Petitioners' houses was predicted to reduce the groundborne noise level at 1 Baldock Street (Barbara and Tony Wheeler) and at 48 Wrexham Road (Emma Jeffery) by approximately 13 decibels (dBLAmax,S).

Floating Slab Track

74. To ensure a fair and consistent approach to Petitioners' concerns, the Committee asked the Promoter to ensure that floating slab track was installed in all tunnels which are routed under residential property at a depth of 15 metres or less. We also made it clear that, should a better technology be available before the construction of the tunnels takes place, it should be considered for use as a substitute to floating slab track.

75. The Promoter accepted the Committee's decision, and therefore will require the nominated undertaker to install floating slab track as the permanent track support system in the Crossrail running tunnels below residential buildings, where the tunnel would rise to within 15 metres or less of the building. The Committee was delighted with this commitment and was certain that it would significantly reduce the disruption experienced by those living over the Crossrail tunnels.

76. We were minded also to recommend that the entire Crossrail route used floating slab track, as the permanent track support system in the Crossrail running tunnels. Such a system would offer an enormous opportunity to reduce significantly the disruption experienced by all London residents and workers as trains pass in tunnels below them. However, we recognised that such a decision would have a considerable impact on the cost of the construction of the railway. We therefore ask the Promoter only to consider implementing floating slab track across the route if the track became cost-effective.

22 80256fa10055060f/pages/ ofundertakingsandassurances Back

23   Paragraph 4639 [Mr Gregory Jones] Back

24   Paragraph 9149 [Mr T Mould QC] Back

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