Clause 33

Crossrail Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 27 Tachwedd 2007.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Amending existing access contracts: effects of contracts under section 32

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Susan Kramer Susan Kramer Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Transport, Shadow Secretary of State, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport)

I want to make some brief remarks. To someone sitting outside this room, our previous discussion would have sounded as though it was taking place at cross-purposes. My interpretation of the language is rather closer to the Minister’s than that of the hon. Member for Wimbledon, who sits on the Conservative Front Bench. However,  the issue that has not been raised and which is relevant to the clause is the implications for freight and for freight rail access along routes it currently uses after Crossrail has come into play.

As I said earlier, the implications for London are extremely serious. London has no aggregate resources within its own boundaries and the only mechanism for bringing aggregate into London is freight rail. Those pathways need to be protected in some way. While there may be compensation for the freight rail provider, there is no mechanism for dealing with the problem that Londoners will face without the ability to bring in bulk product for a variety of purposes. The Minister should address that issue.

Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 11:00, 27 Tachwedd 2007

I understand and sympathise with the hon. Lady’s concerns about freight as affected by Crossrail. Clause 33 is relevant if a direction has been made requiring the grant of access rights for Crossrail services outside the central London tunnel. However, I hope she will be reassured that there might then be the need for a further process of amendment of any other access rights that are in conflict. Clearly conflicting rights are likely to have been picked up and dealt with at earlier stages as a consequence of ORR oversight, subject to its new duty, and reviews of contracts under clause 27, but some could remain.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 33 ordered to stand part of the Bill.