"OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE"
Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 oth J Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel MINUTES 7th July, 2009 PRESENT: Councillors : Cowing (Chairman), Dabrowska, Dheer, Mahfouz, Rosa Popham, Marie Randall, Singh and Sumner. ALSO PRESENT: Councillor David Millican, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Regeneration. OFFICERS : Laurie Lyle (Democratic Services Officer) Anne Stevens (Senior Transport Planner) Lucy Taylor (Head of Economic Development) Kevin Unwin (Scrutiny Review Officer) Nick Wood (Crossrail) Simon Bennett (Crossrail) Belinda Mitchell (Network Rail) 1. Apologies for Absence (Agenda Item 1) Apologies for absence was received from Councillors Kang and from Marie Randall (for lateness). 2. Matters to be Considered in Private (Agenda Item 2) There were none. 3. Urgent Matters (Agenda Item 3) There were none. 4. Terms of Reference (Agenda Item 4) The Scrutiny Review Officer submitted a report which sought Members approval of the Panel’s terms of reference and co-option arrangements for the current municipal year. The report also sought the views of Members on the Panel’s work programme for the 2009/10 municipal year. The Chairman informed Members that Mr Simon Rowley, of the Ealing Passengers and Transport Users’ Group (EPTUG), has indicated a willingness to become a non- voting advisory Member of the Panel. The Chairman sought the views of the Panel on this nomination, and whether any further co-options would assist in its work. 1 Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 The Chairman also referred to paragraph 1.2.2 of the report, and a request received from the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee, which met on 10 June, 2009 and recommended that the Panel expand its remit to consider the ‘Great Western Rail Utilisation Strategy,’ (GWRUS), which was shortly to be put to public consultation. Further to discussions relating to whether the Panel should receive the Strategy, it was agreed that the Strategy be circulated to all Members of the Panel when available in order that Members could come to a view at the next appropriate meeting. The Chairman proposed and it was unanimously agreed that the Panel approve the draft terms of reference, attached as Appendix A to the report, and agree to appoint Mr. Simon Rowley of the Ealing Passenger Transport Users Group, as a non-voting advisory Member of the Panel. Resolved : (i) To agree the Panel’s draft terms of reference, attached as Appendix A to the report; (ii) That the Panel note the framework for the nomination, appointment and retention of non-voting advisory members, attached as Appendix B to the report; (iii) That the Panel agree to appoint Mr. Simon Rowley of the Ealing Passenger Transport Users Group (EPTUG), as a non-voting advisory Member of the Panel; (iv) That in response to a request from the ‘Transport and Environment Scrutiny Panel,’ to expand the scope of the Crossrail Panel to include the Great Western Rail Utilisation Strategy (GWRUS), the Panel agree that the GWRUS is circulated to all Members of the Panel as soon as it becomes available. 6. Crossrail Overview Report (Agenda Item 5) Mr Simon Bennett of Crossrail gave a presentation to the Panel on the progress, scheme background, and proposals for the borough with regards to new stations and indicative service patterns of the Crossrail project. He described Crossrail as the largest engineering project in Europe. He said that Crossrail is a major part of Transport For London (TfL’s) investment programme and the largest addition to the transport and system in London and the South-East for 50 years. He said that it is planned that there will be 37 stations on Crossrail’s route, including eight new underground stations, designed to make travelling across London easier and more convenient. He said that most other existing stations would also be improved with new or enlarged ticket halls benefiting users of existing lines, as well as Crossrail. 2 Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 He said that Crossrail would transform public transport in London and the South-East by relieving congestion on existing services, by offering quicker journeys and by providing key interchanges on the existing transport network. He said that the wider economic benefits to the scheme were the generation of a number of jobs during the construction phase, and an overall stimulus to London’s economy. The Chairman thanked Mr Bennett for his detailed and informative presentation and invited Members to comment. Councillor Joanna Dabrowska said that she was concerned that residents would suffer significant noise and lighting disturbance, particularly in those parts of the borough earmarked for 24 hour construction. Councillor Rosa Popham said that it was imperative that the Council, through its Scrutiny Panels, were able to exert considerable influence on the development of Crossrail, as it affected so many residents in the borough. The Chairman said that he agreed with Councillor Rosa Popham’s point, he added that he was hoping that the Panel’s next meeting in September would come up with ideas for specific stations, for example, Ealing Broadway, which currently experiences significant congestion problems. Councillor Joanna Dabrowska said that it was important that there are co-ordinated interchanges throughout the borough. Simon Rowley requested that future Crossrail reports include information detailing expenditure, and timescales for the project. Libby Kemp, First Great Western Advisory Board Member, said that she believed it was important that the Council adopts and maintains a co-ordinated approach, and that this could be greater encouraged by different groups and stakeholders regularly getting together to meet and discuss proposals. She added that there was currently a huge demand for cycle stands at Ealing Broadway, and she hoped that this would be taken into account by the Council during it’s deliberations. Karen Brown, ‘Hanwell Community Forum’ said that there was a large lobby amongst Hanwell residents requesting that the southern end of the entrance to Hanwell Station be re-opened, she said that residents were also extremely concerned at the lack of disabled access at Hanwell Station. Councillor Millican, Cabinet Portfolio holder for Regeneration and Transport attended the meeting and was invited to address the Panel by the Chairman. 3 Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 Councillor Millican said that he believed that the Council were taking an active role to enable traffic to move more smoothly along the boroughs roads, and were actively engaged in promoting the use of public transport. He said that the Council were working with public transport providers, such as Transport for London, Network Rail and Crossrail to deliver improvements, including looking at new schemes to increase bus reliability, enhancements at bus stops, and better access to stations. He said that the Crossrail scheme had a long way to go, however he welcomed any comments from stakeholders and the Scrutiny Panel that would offer positive solutions and help draw together a co-ordinated approach to the redevelopment of stations in the borough. The Chairman thanked all those present who had contributed to this item, he then proposed and it was unanimously agreed that the Panel give consideration to each of the five stations in the Borough directly affected by Crossrail, examining each set of plans and proposals in depth. He said that he hoped that these meetings will give consideration to approximate timescales in respect of the progress made at each station. Resolved : (i) That the Panel notes and receives the report, and the presentation from Crossrail, which gave details of the background to the Crossrail scheme and proposals for the borough with regards to new stations, and indicative service patterns; (ii) That a vote of thanks be recorded to Mr Simon Bennett, from Crossrail for his detailed and informative presentation; (iii) That the Panel agree to consider the issue of Crossrail at future meetings of the Panel, such meetings will give consideration to individual stations affected by Crossrail, and the approximate timescales in respect of the progress made at each station. 7. Crossrail – Consideration of Issues for Ealing (Agenda Item 6) The Head of Economic Development, submitted a report which provided information on the key areas of potential investigation and discussion in relation to stations in the borough affected by Crossrail. The report also provided information and advice on the opportunities for influence open to the Panel. The Head of Economic Development advised that the construction and operation of Crossrail in the borough will likely bring about significant benefits and opportunities to Ealing. However, there were a number of issues that need to be considered, such as minimising disruption during construction, possible impact on existing rail services, and a need to ensure that the benefits of Crossrail are maximised for Ealing. She said that the Council had a limited range of formal powers to influence the Crossrail scheme, but do have statutory powers that can be exercised in relation to environmental health issues; such as noise, vibration and air quality. She said that 4 Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 the Council is also a “qualifying authority,” which means it is able to determine a range of detailed planning matters, for example the detailed design of stations. She advised that the Council also has a number of informal mechanisms open to it to influence Crossrail, whereby officers are represented on various forums where Crossrail matters are considered, and where there are opportunities to influence design, implementation of the scheme and the operation of Crossrail. It was also proposed that the areas for investigation identified in the report be adopted as headings for a common framework to assess proposals for each station. The Chairman thanked the officer for her report and invited Members to comment. Councillor Sumner expressed concern at the bus interchange on Haven Green would be insufficient for the increase in bus movement resulting from Crossrail services. He said that he believed that the proposals for bus facilities in Haven Green whilst providing a significant improvement in facilities, will not improve capacity. He said that a fully integrated transport interchange with capacity for future growth should involve the removal of bus stands from Haven Green altogether, and provision of a bus station close to the railway station. The Head of Economic Development advised Members that no firm proposals had yet been developed. She said that officers were seeking discussions with Network Rail and the developers Glenkerrin UK Ltd to ascertain what their proposals are, and to see how the Council can influence future developments. Councillor Millican said that he could sense from the discussion taking place a clear aspiration to improve interchange services, especially at Ealing Broadway, however much of that would depend upon the Secretary of State’s ruling on the Glenkerrin UK Ltd /Arcadia development. Councillor Millican suggested that it may be prudent for officers to meet with Network Rail, prior to the Panel proposing recommendations for the interchange. The Chairman suggested that the Panel consider moving consideration of any proposals relating to Ealing Broadway to the November meeting, while the Panel awaits judgement on the Glenkerrin UK Ltd /Arcadia development, and to allow time to gather information on potential options for the interchange and regeneration schemes there. Anne Stevens, the Council’s Senior Transport Planner, advised Members that it was in the Council’s best interests to be very clear as to what exactly they are seeking, before they approach Glenkerrin UK Ltd and Network Rail. Councillor Mahfouz said that it was important that the Panel sought to get all stakeholders to attend future meetings of the Panel, in order that the Council could arrive at a holistic approach. Following further discussion the Panel agreed that the areas for investigation identified in the report be used as a framework to assess proposals for each station, comprising considerations relating to: Transport 5 Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 Planning Community Safety Regulatory Services (Environmental Health) Regeneration and Development The Chairman concluded the item by proposing, and it was unanimously agreed, that officers submit to a future meeting of the Panel, details of the Council’s regeneration plans in connection with Crossrail, to include details of the future potential redevelopment of Ealing Broadway Station, Villiers House, and associated buildings fronting onto The Broadway/Haven Green. Resolved : (i) That the Panel notes the report; (ii) That the Panel agrees that the areas for investigation identified in the report be used as a framework to assess proposals for each station, comprising considerations relating to: Transport Planning Community Safety Regulatory Services (Environmental Health) Regeneration and Development (iii) That officers submit details of possible regeneration proposals to a future meeting of the Panel in connection with Crossrail, to include details of the future potential redevelopment of Ealing Broadway Station, Villiers House, and associated buildings fronting onto The Broadway/Haven Green. 8. Panel Visits to Stations on Crossrail’s Route (Agenda Item 7) The Panel received a report from the Scrutiny Review Officer which gave details of visits by Members of the Panel to stations, directly affected by Crossrail. The Scrutiny Review Officer also circulated a tabled paper at the meeting which gave details of the issues concerning potential development needs identified by Members at each station, with the aim of potentially informing future deliberations. The Chairman noted that the main issues of concern appeared to be around access to stations, including steep stairways and an absence of appropriate drop-off points, gaps between the platforms and the trains at some stations and insufficient facilities for bicycles. Resolved : That the Panel receive and note the report. 11. Work Programme 2009/10 (Agenda Item 8) The Scrutiny Review Officer submitted a report which gave details of the Panel’s work programme. 6 Crossrail Specialist Scrutiny Panel – 7th July, 2009 The Chairman proposed and it was unanimously agreed that the Panel put back consideration of the item concerning proposals for Ealing Broadway Station to November 2009, as this would allow sufficient time for the Secretary of State’s impending judgement on Glenkerrin UK Ltd/Arcadia development, and to gather information on possible options for the interchange and regeneration potential for the site. As a result, the Chairman also proposed and it was agreed that the Panel bring forward consideration of the items relating to proposals for Acton and West Acton Main Line Train Stations to the September meeting of the Panel. The Chairman concluded consideration of the item, by suggesting that the Panel visit Shepherds Bush Station as an example of a ‘good’ station, at a date to be confirmed with officers in consultation with Members of the Panel. Resolved : (i) That the Panel agree its draft work programme for 2009/10, subject to the following amendments: To put back consideration of the item concerning proposals for Ealing Broadway Station, to the meeting of the Panel on Tuesday, 17 th November, 2009 in order to take account of the impending announcement on the outcome of the public inquiry into the proposed Arcadia development in Ealing and to allow time to gather information on possible options for the interchange and regeneration potential for the site; To bring forward consideration of the items concerning proposals for Acton and West Acton Main Line Train Stations, (ii) That the Panel agree to visit Shepherds’ Bush Station as an example of a ‘good’ station, at a date to be confirmed by officers in consultation with Members. 12. Date of Next Meeting (Agenda Item 9) Resolved : That the next meeting of the Panel, take place on Tuesday 22nd September 2009 Councillor John Cowing, Chairman The meeting ended at 7.45pm. 7