GLASGOW AIRPORT RAIL LINK BILL Hearing held at Renfrewshire Council Paisley Friday, 1 September 2006 GROUP 10 PAISLEY NORTH COMMUNITY COUNCIL Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill Hearing held on Friday, 1 September 2006 Group 10 Paisley North Community Council Assessor: Professor Hugh Begg For Promoter: Objector: Mr Stuart Gale QC Mr Don Marshall Mr Alan Hopkirk Mr Charles Hoskins Mr Brian Cuthbert Mr Ian Watson Witnesses: [The Hearing commenced at 1.32] Assessor: Good afternoon everybody. Welcome back to our second session today. By my reading we are on to Group 10 and one of the Objectors has indicated that they want to give oral evidence, the Paisley North Community Council. As far as this objection is concerned, I will start with the Promoter if I may. Who will lead the case for the Promoter? Mr Gale: I will lead the case for the Promoter. So far as the issues are concerned, as I understand it, the issues are traffic disruption, impact on the Park and impact on the value of adjacent properties. Our witnesses, given the fact that there are clearly other objections, would be a fairly extensive panel of individuals beyond those who are immediately here. Assessor: These gentlemen – there may be a lady, I am not sure – but these gentlemen are predominantly additional persons who are simply here as a courtesy to me in case I had any questions. Mr Gale: Yes. Assessor: Thank you very much. Shall we wait and decide where we are at – Mr Gale: Yes, that would be appropriate. Beyond that I have nothing to update you on. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 1 Assessor: Good afternoon. I understand that you are here to represent Paisley North Community Council. Who will lead the case? Mr Marshall: I will initially lead the case and Mr Hopkirk will complete the presentation. We will split the oral presentation between the two of us. Assessor: In terms of witnesses, so one will question the other. Is that how you want to take it? Mr Marshall: It is merely an oral presentation. We did not anticipate any internal questioning in that sense. Mr Hopkirk: I missed the start of the presentation but there are four subjects, is that correct? Assessor: There are three issues that Mr Gale has identified. I was going to ask you what you felt the issues were. Does his description of traffic disruption, impact on the Park and impact on adjacent property not cover the issues that you want to cover, or do you feel there is another issue? Mr Hopkirk: It does but there is also an issue of noise and vibration that we thought was in that as well. Assessor: Is noise and vibration covered in your written submission? Mr Hopkirk: I believe so. Assessor: Do you have any dispute with that, Mr Gale? Mr Gale: I am content in order that all matters which the Objectors consider to be relevant are aired, and to that extent it might be helpful if Mr Dani Fiumicelli came to the witness table. Assessor: That would be very helpful. For completeness I will ask again. Leading the case for the Objectors will be Mr Marshall but you have two witnesses, namely Mr Marshall and Mr Hopkirk. Is that the way it will be? Mr Marshall: That is correct. Assessor: Splendid. Are there any matters of update? If you have none, please let me know. Mr Marshall: The only matter outstanding is a written response to the PNCC objection, which was lodged following a letter from the SPT on 10 August. That is still outstanding. Assessor: That is a piece of internal correspondence to which you have not had a response. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 2 Mr Marshall: Correct. Assessor: I think we can proceed on that basis. evidence in chief that you want to put? Mr Gale, do you have any Mr Gale: No, sir. I am content to rely on the written statements. This may well be a situation where matters will require to be clarified after evidence giving, but at present rather than take certain minor matters or episodic matters from various witnesses, I am content that we proceed on the basis as suggested. Assessor: It would now be open to you, Mr Marshall, to question the Panel in front of you on the matters on which you have agreed are in dispute: traffic disruption, St James Park, impact on adjacent property and noise and vibration. Please lead your case in any way you wish. Mr Marshall: Since my interest in this project and dealing with the SPT to effect a partial assessment of what the rail link was about, I have found that over the years I have had information misrepresented, and the presentation of that was found to be somewhat lacking from a public body. Even at this stage, despite repeated requests, we still have no specific visual representation of what this rail link and bridge will look like against the local area community and location adjacent to the local residences. I would also like to say that, as a member of the PNCC, from conversations with members of the community there is a general feeling that we are here merely to tick the boxes and to make up numbers, that the whole thing is a done deal. I would like to feel that our input has some effect and can change what is basically the major point, that is crossing St James Park. We believe there are other routes which would be more effective and more beneficial, but for the moment we are left with fighting a route which no one particularly wants. In terms of St James Park itself, obviously there has been a great deal of information generated, the main thing being that the local juvenile teams make use of the Park, and this has never been highlighted by the SPT or the environmental studies. These kids are aged six and seven – Assessor: Mr Marshall, the purpose of inviting you to ask a question is simply to question the witnesses available to you. You will have an opportunity to give evidence later on. I understand that you are trying to give me background, but you can be absolutely certain that I have read all the witness statements which were in written form, and I am fully aware of the approach that you and the others wish to adopt. Could you please just ask the questions that you want of these witnesses. Mr Marshall: Thank you. I address a question to the SPT that, given the fact there are international youth competitions held annually in St James Park, and should this rail link proceed the ability to hold these team competitions in a single day or a weekend would not be possible, what explanation would the SPT give to the people who come from abroad that St James Park has effectively been destroyed by the viaduct and rail link? Secondly – Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 3 Assessor: One question at a time. It is perfectly open to you, if you are not satisfied with the answer to that question, to have another question which might illuminate even further. If you just choose one of the Panel, or perhaps one of the Panel would volunteer with what I understand to be the problem of an event of international repute which would be disrupted apparently, either during the construction phase or thereafter during the operational phase. Mr Hoskins: Sorry, can I ask what the question is, Mr Marshall? Mr Marshall: We have a lot of international teams coming to St James Park on an annual basis who will no longer be able to do so because of the lack of facility because the rail link has been built. During the time of construction as well as after there will be no sufficient area to hold the number of people and competitions that would normally occur on a weekend. What would SPT’s response be to these people? Mr Hoskins: Firstly, if I could take the final operation and then work back towards the construction phase. I will also try and put that in the context of what we have effectively reached in terms of an agreement with Renfrewshire Council. Firstly, during the final phase we have put forward a mitigation proposal that ensures there is the ability to operate 20 pitches at the Park. Currently there is capacity for 22. It is generally not on a frequent basis operated at its full capacity, but we will be maximising the number of pitches that are available in the future. So, with regard to those big events Renfrewshire Council have not suggested to us in any shape or form that those events could not take place. Further to that we have quite a number of detailed liaison meetings with the footballing community where the leagues, the SFA and other stakeholders attend, and that is not a matter they have stated could not happen in the final operation. If I could turn to the construction phase, what we have always recognised is the impact during the construction phase with effectively the east side of the Park being used as a construction compound. Again, in agreement with Renfrewshire Council we have proposed to relocate those pitches on a temporary basis. I do not think I have a definitive statement about whether those events could take place with the remainder of pitches, but certainly Renfrewshire Council have not said to us that they deem that not to be possible. Clearly if there are only 11 pitches at St James and they are only in one location, the event would have to be spread elsewhere, and we recognise that is the case. However, the Council have not categorically stated to us that it would not be possible to hold those sorts of events. Mr Marshall: From my own information received from you showing the layouts of the football pitches, they are drawn and shown to the minimum size permitted by the SFA. However, I believe the actual layout between the pitches would be insufficient to handle any number of spectators. Without referring to the specification, I think there is about one metre between the pitch lines between adjoining pitches, and that is certainly not enough to accommodate the several hundred, if not thousands, who turn up for these major competitions. Also, given that location and the orientation of it, because of the number of Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 4 people who use the Park and the shadowing effect caused by a viaduct, we believe the number of pitches remaining would not be as stated and would be less, therefore diminishing the facility itself and the recreational area. Do you have a comment on the distance between pitches? Mr Hoskins: I will start and perhaps one of my colleagues can come in. The design of the layout, as far as we understand, has met with the approval in principle of Renfrewshire Council. Indeed, the layout itself has been subject to quite a number of discussions at community liaison groups and the design has been undertaken to the relevant standards. Mr Marshall: I do not doubt that the actual pitch sizes are to the relevant standard. I was commenting on the distance between the pitches. A. And indeed the distance between the pitches. That has been the guidance that Renfrewshire Council have given us, and they have said they would be satisfied with that. Q. I am afraid I have not had any direct conversation with an official of the Council so I have to take that as read. A further question on St James Park would be: how is the rail link viaduct to be protected from intrusion of kites, footballs and any other external action that might wish to cause damage to it? I do not think there is any particular difference between this railway viaduct and any other viaduct. We recognise it is a unique location it has in crossing the Park so any trespass, etc, would be dealt with in the same manner that it is dealt with in any other viaduct. Firstly, you try and design that at source, so you would try and make the viaduct at PS, etc, to a form that would not be so easy to climb. The viaduct would be policed in the normal manner, so we do not see necessarily this viaduct being particularly unusual to others. You certainly made an interesting point about kite-flying, and I do not think we would suggest that flying a kite with an overhead wire in the location of St James would be any different. I do not think you would fly your kite if there were any overhead wires, so I do not think it is any difference, but again we recognise there is a restriction with the railway line running through the Park. Obviously it follows that after construction, should it happen, there will be football pitches on the side of the viaduct, and the current three-metre high wire fence which was put up by Renfrewshire Council many years ago is ineffective to prevent balls coming over. Obviously you will have the same with balls being kicked high onto the line. Is there any remedy to mitigate that? There are operational procedures where that is dealt with. I do not think this is an unusual situation. There are many railway lines close by football pitches. First and foremost it is to design out at source that you do not encourage people to climb the viaduct to retrieve their ball. Secondly, we would not envisage trains derailing on a football and I think you recognise that point. The point you make is valid about the trespass and the nature of football pitches, but we do not see there is a specific situation here that is not dealt with elsewhere in the railway that necessitates anything more than the proper attention and the application of the proper standards. A. Q. A. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 5 Q. Obviously it would follow that if the route of the line was not through St James Park many of your problems would disappear in terms of trespass and access for footballers and kite-flyers, etc, but obviously that is another matter. Assessor: Will you stick to questions, please. Mr Marshall: The other matter is in terms of the drainage, which has attracted a great deal of comment and correspondence. From my own research from your drawings issued, there is only one mains 300mm diameter running down the length of Greenock Road, and there is a minor connection from some point in the viaduct to that. Are you comfortable that you can cope with the run-off from the track with the additional ground water and the damage to the field drains – which were installed by the Scottish Office some 12 or 14 years ago – on two occasions and found still to be deficient in clearing the ground of the water? How does the SPT propose, if they have not done an engineering study, to remove this water? Mr Hoskins: Firstly, it is not correct to say we have not done engineering studies. Indeed, the preliminary design has been undertaken to all the relevant standards. What you are quite right in stating is that the ultimate solution, like the ultimate solution for many elements, is not known in its absolute detail. However, we are confident that the feasibility of draining the railway, firstly, is perfectly feasible and can be accommodated, and secondly, that the drainage to the pitches is perfectly feasible and can be accommodated. Interestingly with the pitches, our investigations have found that the drainage that was previously put in is quite a cause of the problems. It is damaged. The use of the east side of the Park as a construction compound would obviously damage whatever is there, so the project is proposing to reinstate the east side of the Park with the proper drainage. Mr Gale: Mr Watson may have other information. I am not directing questions in any way, but would it be helpful to Mr Marshall who might want to invite Mr Watson to give a view? Mr Watson: The only additional comment I would make on Mr Hoskins’ comments was that there is no additional amount of rainfall or water from the viaduct. The same amount of rain is falling in the same area, so there is no additional amount of water coming into the drainage system. Mr Marshall: Is it not the case that you have indicated on your drawings a soakaway adjacent to the bottom of the viaduct, I think in three or five places along the end of the viaduct? Mr Watson: No soakaways. The water is taken from the viaduct to the drainage system. It is all piped. There will not be any soakaways. Assessor: Is it the Promoter’s evidence that the drainage system will actually be improved following the construction and operation itself? Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 6 Mr Watson: Yes. As Mr Hoskins said, the existing drainage is damaged and that is why it does not work and that is why the playing fields flood several times a year. Assessor: Your evidence is that the detriment which the Objector is suggesting will not occur and the matter will be improved. Mr Watson: We will improve the drainage on the west side and also on the east side. There will be some additional drainage to improve the quality of the pitches on the east side as well. Mr Hoskins: To further clarify, that is simply by the application of today’s standards. That is really what the solution is. It is about the application of standards as they sit today, and by applying those standards to something that is currently defective you would improve the situation. Mr Marshall: I have one other question relating to the viability, and I am sure you have an answer from engineering terms. The vibration of any trains, passing over at speed and weighing a hundred tonnes, may well impact down to the foundations. Should there be any depression or lowering of the line at all it would lead to its total closure because it is insufficient for the engines to accommodate this depression that might be caused by any slippage or dropping in terms of elevation of any parts of the viaduct. I have asked a question in the past and been told the desktop studies were made but it was never verified whether or not they were static or dynamic loadings. Obviously a static load is a different condition entirely from having a moving load at 20 or 30 miles an hour every seven-and-a-half minutes on the viaduct. I would like to know SPT’s opinion that they are confident there will be no subsidence of any of these viaduct piers. Mr Hoskins: I will start that and certainly Mr Fiumicelli on the vibration could – Assessor: I am sorry to interrupt you Mr Hoskins, I am sure you have an answer. I am trying to find where I can pick this up. Am I correct in thinking this is a question about the Caledonian Iron and Fire Clay Mines underneath? Are you suggesting there is likely to be some sort of subsidence as a result of that? I am trying to link it in with the evidence I have. Mr Marshall: Yes. A drawing has been submitted of mine plans but they are indicated at a level much greater than the test bores SPT obtained. They stopped boring at 47 metres, not being able to hit bedrock. I believe the mine workings are some 100 metres down in parts. Nevertheless, given the soil conditions, one would hope that all necessary calculations have been done. Mr Gale: Mr Cameron is the expert on matters relating to soil conditions and the mine working. Mr Cameron: The Fire Clay mine is known and is on the mine plans which I know you have seen from the British geological survey. You will appreciate they are very deep and they are well below what we know from other borehole Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 7 records as being well below rock head. It is in our judgment that we do not believe they are an issue. To come back about dynamic loading, dynamic loading and static loading are both very much incorporated within the design copes and full structures of this magnitude in this country and they will be fully taken account of by normal design procedures at that depth of foundations. Mr Marshall: You do not expect any subsidence? Mr Cameron: No. They will be designed out absolutely. Mr Marshall: That concludes the list of questions relating to St James Park. The next one is traffic and disruption. Assessor: I am not sure how we are going to treat this, but I think you are going to go straight through and treat everybody as a panel. Is that correct? [Yes] Mr Hopkirk: I do not know if I have misunderstood this but you said something earlier and I should have perhaps asked for clarification. We had anticipated that we would both be able to ask questions and we had worked on that basis. Is it possible that I could ask questions on some subjects, because if I am a witness I will be able to answer questions perhaps but not ask them? That is what I had been working on, so I wonder whether Mr Gale – Assessor: If Mr Gale has no difficulty we should permit it. The idea here is to get best evidence and certainly to get it from the people, like yourselves, who are lay persons. The procedure will be made as flexible as possible to assist you, so please carry on. Mr Marshall: If I may then complete my part relating to traffic and disruption, from a commonsense point of view I find it incredible that SPT are trying to indicate road transport use for shipping all materials from a given point into the construction site. Given the route they propose, I wondered if they had failed to notice that the traffic lights at St James interchange have recently been reinstated to try and alleviate the bottleneck and the volume of traffic at peak hours. I understand – again from drawings – that during the construction phase there will be yet another set of traffic lights added to the two existing ones on the A726, which is a main arterial road to serve Paisley Centre and Paisley North End, and how they are going to cope with taking a 40-foot articulated lorry in a U-turn from the A726 into McFarlane Street, and even more so when they try to turn from McFarlane Street into Greenhill Road? Currently even buses and stretch limos do not tackle it, let alone with a 40-foot. Nevertheless, they have also indicated that they intend moving 30-metre lengths of steel on that route as well, which would totally block up the whole North End of Paisley and cause mayhem over a greater part of the day on the A726 and all traffic leading to the North End of Paisley using the alternative route, which is Park Street, where the same problem with 40-foot artics taking up the road. I just Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 8 wondered if they had walked the route and made a judgment in transport terms that this could be achieved. The alternative is to use the railway because current methods of lifting and – Assessor: Mr Marshall, I am being as helpful as I possibly can, but I have to take questions from you in order that you can pick out a witness who is going to answer your questions. The possibility for evidence is there and you can give it on each one of these subjects. Mr Marshall: My apologies. One specific question, why haven’t the SPT considered using the existing railway to deliver material, given the modern lifting appliances that are available to discharge any loads at the site? Mr Hoskins: I will start and I am sure my colleague Ian Watson will assist. To answer that direct question, that has been considered, and a great deal of the work that is on the existing railway will be through deliveries on the railway, and that is very detailed discussions we have had with Network Rail about how you build new railways. I am happy to further elaborate on some of the points if required to give some comfort on the issues about traffic. It is important to understand that when you have big pieces of equipment those abnormal loads are dealt with in an appropriate manner through the police and the roads authority, so there is no problem in that process being dealt with, and that is normally faced in a manner that can be accommodated through the traffic. To answer the specific point about the normal day-to-day operation of a construction site and the location of that junction, indeed Renfrewshire Council themselves provided to us a sketch for the revised junction, and that was certainly something that was in their rebuttal. I appreciate I am referring to other Objectors here, but it was in their rebuttal and we have accepted that. This is designed to Highway standards. Mr Marshall: I do not have any serious problems with anything coming directly off the A726 onto the Park area; it was merely going in the opposite direction to the Murray Street/Clark Street end which, given the conditions of the road and the dimensions of the road, would seem to be fairly improbable to get any length at all round that particular route. I cannot comment whether that was recommended by Renfrew because I have no knowledge; it is just a personal thing I have seen. Mr Hoskins: As I say, firstly we have all walked the route many times and our team is totally confident that we can achieve what is required to the standards, and that is across all the disciplines. Specialist pieces of equipment will be required and they will be done in the normal and appropriate manner both in terms of Clark Street and Murray Street. There are no specific reasons why we see those being any different from the normal construction delivery process. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 9 Assessor: Can I ask you this question? If you are wrong on that, you cannot build the railway, can you? If your vehicles cannot conform to the requirements of Renfrewshire Council it represents a huge impediment to you. Accordingly is that not the comfort which Mr Marshall is seeking? Mr Hoskins: To answer your question, I do not think it is so much that we cannot build the railway; we would have to build it in a different way. As engineers you would then have to build it in a slightly different way. What we have tried to portray to Mr Marshall is what might be a likely method that is used to build it. We certainly will not be building it; we will be employing a contractor to do that and it is obviously for him to come up with the final methodology and we are fully recognising that. That causes some difficulties in trying to assist the Objectors to understand because we are trying to portray what might be a methodology, but we are not fixing that in its totality now, we are just giving some general principles. Assessor: You take the point I was trying to make, Mr Marshall. That may give you some comfort that the contractor then has to conform to what is required of him. Mr Hoskins: The important thing is that we do not see in this project anything of significant feasibility that is not capable of being undertaken by a competent contractor. Assessor: Residents need not be deeply concerned about heavy vehicles destroying or damaging local roads. Mr Hoskins: Particularly we have given a commitment on the record and to the Council, and we have never ever sought powers for any traffic whatsoever to access Greenock Road. We have been quite specific about that and we have fully recognised that. I think the Objectors have previously made that point clear, that in previous construction activities that has been a problem, and we have specifically excluded Greenock Road from that. Assessor: Thank you. Mr Marshall, please carry on. Mr Marshall: One last question, which is traffic-related but it relates to parking. On the drawings issued the car parking space available following the construction and the very probable overspill of the 200-300 cars that generally accumulate over a weekend in St James Park, where there is insufficient parking for them. How do SPT hope to overcome this, or do they propose to use the area below the viaduct for additional parking? Mr Hoskins: The existing parking arrangements at the Park will obviously be modified with the new pitch layouts. What has not been decided with the Council is the exact configuration of that car parking, so I could not say whether or not it would be below the viaduct. There are two important things to recognise. Firstly, there will be fewer pitches there. There will only be a capacity of 20 pitches, so in theory that means there would be less traffic. Secondly, we have agreed with the Council that we would apply the Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 10 appropriate standards, and indeed, it is the Council’s. I would have to check on the record as to what the standard is called but it is their sustainability parking requirements relevant to that type of facility. We have agreed with the Council we would apply those standards to the facility, so we believe we will be in full compliance with the Council’s requirements for parking of that facility. Mr Marshall: From our own experience, even given the current situation of available parking, we still experience a great deal of problems on match days and also whenever there is a professional football match there and also any activity within the Park itself. It will make life intolerable for the residents if there is insufficient parking to meet the needs of the footballing community, irrespective of the number of pitches that are going to be left, or indeed used, during the period of construction. We will have enough problems with construction traffic, even guided by the new set of traffic lights going onto the site, with noise and disruption and everything else, to get access into our particular area. I am sure Mr Hopkirk has the same attitude with McFarlane Street and Greenock Road. I do not see from the drawings that there will be sufficient space to cope. It is not a question, it is a statement! Mr Hoskins: I am happy to come back if necessary. Firstly I have some sympathy – I live close by a football park myself and it frustrates me no end on match days when I cannot get through the traffic, so I have some personal sympathy. What we can say, and to repeat what we have said, is we will be applying the Council standards here. You have raised a very valid point about how the Council patrol and police the arrangements at St James Park, and we are more than willing to raise that again with the Council about how that would happen with the new layout. However, what we are saying, and again we have committed to, is that there certainly would not be any less than what is there. What we have not designed in its detail is exactly what it would be. I do not know if that provides any further assistance. Mr Marshall: On several weekends we did a headcount of the number of cars, and it surprised us how many there were in the area, and also across the Park at the top, McFarlane Street and Greenock Road, so they can cross into the pavilion site. These numbers certainly do not equate with the space allocated on your drawings for the new pavilion. One has to ask where would the alternative be if not in our streets and clogging up our facility to move around? That is all I have at the moment for the traffic disruption. Assessor: Thank you very much indeed, that is very helpful, Mr Marshall. Could we take now the other two issues, Mr Hopkirk? Mr Hopkirk: I also wondered if I could ask something of a subsidiary question. Mr Hoskins, I seem to remember that SPT as one of the justifications of the reduction in the number of playing fields is that the reality is because of the bad drainage – how many pitches are there at present? Mr Hoskins: There is capacity for 22. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 11 Q. A. And it is reducing to 20. Is that correct? Or are there 24 at the moment? There is capacity for 22 pitches at St James Park at the moment. Once the rail link is operational there will be capacity for 20. I seem to remember you and your colleagues making an argument that there was no big deal about the reduction, that the reality is 22 playing fields is extremely seldom playable anyway. If that is the case and your drainage is effective so that 20 pitches are playable, so it is going to reduce supposedly from 22 to 20, but the reality is there will not be fewer footballers because if they were not all playable before, there are not going to be fewer people wanting to park there. That is my point. You said don’t worry about the parking because there will be fewer football players, and I think in the past you have said the reality is 22 pitches have never been playable. I am sorry, I am struggling with what is the question. I am sorry as well. You are suggesting in mitigation to problems of parking that there will be fewer footballers playing, so fewer people would be needing to park. My point is I believe SPT have put forward a point in the past to say there have never been 22 pitches playable, so don’t worry about losing some, and we will make 20 pitches which will be wonderfully playable. Therefore, the idea that parking is going to be any less of a problem does not occur. To pick up a couple of points, what we have always agreed with Renfrewshire Council is that there is capacity for 22 pitches at St James Park, and the mitigation of the rail link will ensure there are 20 pitches remaining and there will be two replaced permanently. We have provided information in the environmental statement about the utilisation of the existing 22 pitches, but that is at the gift of Renfrewshire Council. The point is really about parking. If I could finish on that point. The utilisation of the pitches is at the gift of Renfrewshire Council, so if they have not utilised them in a certain way which has created a certain amount of parking, that is probably the situation. What we are clear about, and I will repeat the commitment, is we have said that we are not providing less parking and we are providing it to the Council standards. For a facility of that nature there is a design standard that you apply the parking requirements to, and we are applying that standard. I do not think I am arguing about how many might want to park there. This is about the application of the standard. We all recognise and question why does everyone drive to it, and that is their choice, but you have to apply the standard. It is not appropriate for you to increase the number of parking without some cognisance of the standard. I would suggest that if this standard has been applied at the moment it will theoretically be able to cope with 22 pitches being played on, and when you only have to provide parking for 20 there will be less parking. However, the fact is there will still be the same number of users. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. Assessor: I can understand the point that is being made. Mr Hopkirk: There is another point about parking. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 12 Assessor: I would like a little guidance on this. You referred to the relevant guidance. Am I correct in thinking that there is Scottish Office planning advice on the number of parking places to be provided, or is this something to do with Renfrewshire Council who have an internal piece of guidance? It is just for the sake of the report. Mr Hoskins: If you can give me a moment. [Pause] I do not seem able to put my hand on it but my recollection is that it is the Council’s own application of a standard in relation to that type of facility. Assessor: Contained, for instance, within the local plan? Mr Hoskins: I believe that was the genesis. It is a standard they would apply across the Council for the parking that is provided at all those facilities, and we have agreed with the Council that that is an appropriate application. Assessor: To clarify this, Mr Hopkirk, we have 22 pitches at the moment – you are suggesting that, say, 16 are usable at any particular time because six of them may be out of action because of poor drainage – and you are suggesting that if it goes up to 20 because of increased drainage you will therefore have another four cars seeking to park either on pitches or on the surrounding area? That is the thrust of your argument. [Yes] Am I correct in thinking that your answer, Mr Hoskins, is that this is up to Renfrewshire Council to apply the parking standards for the 20 pitches. Mr Hoskins: And that is what we have said we would apply for the project. Assessor: Does that take us as far as we need to go on this one? Mr Hopkirk: Can I ask for clarification, Sir? My understanding is that parking is quite difficult to provide, and although Renfrewshire Council will set that standard, SPT have put forward a proposal to fit parking and parks on available space. That is really all I am highlighting. Assessor: That is fine. I will make a general point that the mitigation you can expect is not of an existing intolerable situation or almost intolerable situation. The mitigation you can expect is due to GARL and only them. Mr Hopkirk: As a lay person looking at the proposal you might think there is a proposal to have parking under the viaduct, but for security reasons that does not seem to be feasible. Would the security clearance carry on to McFarlane Street, which is currently heavily parked on, and other procedures to make sure it would not be parked under the bridge and McFarlane Street? Mr Hoskins: I take your point, Mr Hopkirk. There is a distinction between a railway crossing a public highway, and the railway does that quite often and cars park. The point is obviously about the security of those cars, so I do not think it is a direct comparative. I do not think we have said absolutely there will not be any parking under the viaduct. We are genuinely struggling on matters of Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 13 security and we have obviously given that some due cognisance, that is why the final layout is not decided because that final design is not done. I do not think the same applies where the railway goes over the public highway. Assessor: Have we reached a point? [Yes] Could we move on to whichever of the remaining two you would like to take first? I have noted impact on adjacent properties and noise. Mr Hopkirk: We have a few queries on noise and vibration. One raised by one of our Objectors in dialogue with SPT – Assessor: Hold on. One of your Objectors? Mr Hopkirk: One of the Group 10 Objectors has had correspondence dated 15 August and I was not sure whether you would have had that. Assessor: Let us get ahead rather than spend time. Mr Hopkirk: Basically saying that there is confusion in some of the correspondence that you have had with him, and I would endorse that. I have been confused with the use of decibels and so on. You have referred us to Appendices, which is fine. Assessor: Which Appendices? Mr Hopkirk: Appendix 13. Assessor: Chapter 13 of the environmental statement deals with noise and vibration. Mr Hopkirk: One of the questions I would ask your witness is can you confirm you have been consistent? As lay people we need things as clear as possible and there seems to be a great deal of variation. I appreciate they are technical matters but we are a little concerned at the chopping and changing to fit what you would like them to be. I hope you do not take offence at that. For instance, can I ask why a noise monitoring point was chosen at 172a Greenock Road as opposed to any other part of Greenock Road? Mr Fiumicelli: Baseline noise monitoring points were selected to be representative of the general locations, where we looked at the route and thought we needed to know and understand what the existing noise climate was. We generally tried to pick locations that were close to the route of the GARL. We then had practical considerations on how do we get to those locations: how do we get access to them; is it secure and safe to be able to do noise monitoring at that location; will equipment be safe; will the person doing the monitoring be safe, that kind of thing. Number 172 was chosen on the basis that we felt it was reasonably representative of the properties on that section of Greenock Road that would be closest to the route of the GARL. That was the fundamental rationale behind choosing that location, having decided we wanted to investigate what the noise climate was in that area. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 14 Assessor: For the inquiry, will you remind me of the use of the building at 172. Mr Fiumicelli: As far as I remember, it is residential. Assessor: I am just confirming that I saw it on my unaccompanied site visit. I am aware of exactly where you put it. Mr Fiumicelli: My recollection is that it is overwhelmingly residential at the northern end. Mr Hopkirk: I was there at 6.30 this morning to listen to some of the ambient sounds. It is residential on one side and then open to the Park on the other. Do you think it would have been harder to get a monitoring point closer to the M8 motorway than the one you chose? Mr Fiumicelli: Not necessarily. There are several other properties north of 172 which are closer to the M8. Mr Hopkirk: I think there is one other property. Mr Hoskins: There is 172a and 172b, then there is 174 and then it is the motorway. Is that correct? Mr Marshall: Number 174 is the last one. Mr Hoskins: Then there is the cul-de-sac and then it is the motorway. Is that correct? Mr Marshall: Next to that is Gordon Craig and next to him is the McKnights. They are both new houses, 172 and 172a, I believe. Mr Hopkirk: My point is that to me as a lay person the most dominant noise source at that point would be the M8 motorway as a constant. Perhaps there would be more noise energy and spikes from the airplanes, but when you wrote back to Mr Berry you talked about different noise levels, which I will ask for clarification in a minute. You said these were composed of, and you put them in this particular order, which I was concerned about and that is why I drove there this morning. This was described as caused by local road traffic. I would say that is background, if that, at that distance – you are 500 metres from the local road, the A726. The M8, which is very close to it, aircraft noise, which is important, and the existing railway, which is the loop line and the Clyde Line. That is a way in the distance and I would be surprised if there was any significant noise input from that, unless it is blowing a gale from there. I do not know who offered this, if it was SPT, but I wondered whether there was any significance in the order because it seems to be misleading, certainly to Mr Berry, because he is not aware of any railway noise at all at present. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 15 Mr Fiumicelli: That section in that response specifically does not include the statement that there is a hierarchy of dominance. That is simply a list of noise sources that were audible at the monitoring point. I take your point. The M8 would dominate there generally. As you say, there will be spikes and peaks of noise from the aircraft. The other noise sources that are listed there are noise sources that the person undertaking the monitor heard. It is a standard common practice that when undertaking noise measurements you make notes and write down what you are hearing whilst taking noise measurements. Mr Hopkirk: Bearing in mind that Mr Berry lives at 158, which is a fair distance along – and I would urge the Committee or the Assessor if you have another site visit to bear these points in mind. Number 158, which is where I am quoting from your response to Mr Berry, and when you measured the point, which is quite a distance away, you gave figures and you said that the GARL would not register to Mr Berry above the ambient background noise. Can you explain that to me, please? A. We measured the ambient noise level at a location close to where Mr Berry lives, which we believe is reasonably representative of the general acoustic climate in the locality. We have compared that with the predicted noise level from the GARL in that location, and we find that the measured noise level is significantly higher. If your point is that we are further away from the M8 and therefore in your view it is quieter, I do not doubt that it would be compared to the measurement at 172a, but we are also significantly further away from the proposed route of the GARL. There is a trade-off with both those in that whilst the M8 noise will be lower at Mr Berry’s compared to a measurement position, the GARL noise will also be lower relative to the difference in distances. The GARL is further away at Mr Berry’s compared to where it is going to be at 172, if it is constructed. They trade-off in the end, so the difference in the end is the same. Q. A. That is your judgment, and I accept there would be some logic to it, but it does not seem it is rooted in professional judgment perhaps. It is not. It is rooted in the fundamental principles of acoustics. It is not rocket science to claim that the further you are away from the noise source the quieter than noise source will seem. However, the rate at which noise propagates from the motorway, which is a constant, steady, continual stream of traffic, is less than the rate at which noise from the railway will propagate, which will generally be an individual train travelling discreetly. The noise from the train will attenuate, will get less, at a faster rate than the noise from the railway. It is to do with what is called point and line source characteristics. The M8 is effectively a solid cylinder of noise sources radiating continually. The noise levels from that kind of noise source, what is called a line source, decay at three decibels for every doubling of distance, so if you have 10 metres and then you go to 20, it is three decibels less; if you go to 40 it is three decibels less; if you go to 80 it is three decibels less. For a point source, which is effectively what the GARL trains will be, because they are individual trains with a relatively small number of carriages, the rate of attenuation of noise from that kind of source is six decibels for every Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 16 doubling of distance. So in the example I just gave, at 10 metres it will be six, at 20 it will be 12, at 40 metres it will be 18 and so on. The GARL noise propagates less efficiently than the M8 and it trades off; you effectively get the same results. Q. A. Does wind direction have any bearing on the noise? If you are down wind of a noise source, if the wind is blowing from a noise source to the listener, the noise level and the perceived loudness of the noise will be slightly greater than if it was neutral conditions or if the wind was blowing in the other direction from the listener to the noise source. Does it matter about the distance the noise is radiating? Can I finish that point about the wind direction? I understand what you are saying, Mr Hopkirk. The prediction of noise from the GARL has been undertaken with the methodology of the calculation of railway noise. It is a specific methodology approved by the UK for the calculation of railway noises, and it specifically includes a correction that assumes the worse case is that the noise is blowing from the railway to the listener. We have assumed the worse case: we have assumed that the wind will blow at all times whenever the GARL is operating throughout the year from the railway to any particular point where we are predicting the railway noise. In reality it will not; the wind changes direction. It may be in this particular set of circumstances that the prevailing wind the majority of time could be from the GARL towards Greenock Road, but we have taken that into account. That is included in our predictions. Thank you. I want to ask another specific example about points but before I do that with Mr Berry, the technical terminology, which I do not understand and I wonder if my expert witness could clarify for me and confirm the fact that it is consistently used in the documents. I have highlighted – Q. A. Q. Assessor: That is fine. That is an easy question. Could you give the answer to that before we move on? I do not want any points made, I want a question asked. I am not remonstrating with anybody. This is a very difficult area and if you have a question, it is better to ask the technical witness and he will give you a response. Mr Hopkirk: I interrupted you earlier and I was about to ask you about the height. Does it matter where the distance above ground the noise radiates from? Mr Fiumicelli: Yes, it can do. Q. A. Does that have an impact on the distance travelled or the intensity? There are several reasons why it can have an impact. One is that simply by raising the noise source from ground level to a height you are extending the overall distance the noise has to travel. A simple example would be flat ground with a noise source at 50 metres, to take an arbitrary number, so the horizontal travel distance is 50 metres from the noise source to receiver. If you then raise that noise source to a height of 10 metres, to take an arbitrary number, the distance the sound has to travel to get to your receiver is now the Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 17 length of the hypotenuse of that right-handed triangle. Dragging back by schoolboy trigonometry, that distance would be the square route of 10² plus 50², which is going to be marginally more than 50 metres. You slightly extend the overall distance, so the actual effect is that over those sort of distances you get a marginally imperceptible reduction in the noise. In the context of a railway development, whether it be on a cutting or a viaduct, if the height of the railway is tall enough, you alter the amount of train on specifically the rail wheel interaction, which is the main noise source for the GARL. It is a low speed train, so it is going to be the interaction of the rail wheels that make most noise. You alter how much of that a receiver actually sees the line of sight. That again tends to reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted from the source to the receiver. In general you increase the height, you reduce the amount of noise they get. The other reason why you also sometimes get a reduction in the noise is that you can get something called the ground effect. This is where a noise source is close to the ground, and if the ground is relatively hard – and I would suggest that a lot of the Park is, particularly when it is waterlogged because water is a very acoustically reflective surface. When it is dry and it has been compounded by people running around playing soccer on it or whatever, with short grass coverage – it will tend to act, rather than a sound absorber, a slight sound reflector, so by elevating the noise source you reduce the reflection effect. Again, the methodology of the calculation of road/railway noise includes ground absorption effects and it includes the effects of the height of the noise source, and also the height of the noise receiver. These things are all factored in and are taken into account. Q. I am very pleased with that revelation, it is very informative. If you don’t mind, I want to enjoy a further explanation because I find them very fascinating. Mr Berry mentions the term – or SPT and perhaps you or one of your colleagues – “55dB LAeq, 18 hour.” There is an explanation and I believe that is a decibel scale and it is a timed mean or whatever. It is a time-weighting, time average. Would that be quite different from 55dB LAeq without the 18 hour? Is that standard or whatever, and why would they use one and not the other? Yes, that is a point, that is relevant. The intention in this document was to make comparison of the same noise in the index. LAeq is a multitude of different noise indices for describing noise. The T factor, the time, for the LAeq is critical because that influences what the value is. You are absolutely right to pick that up, Mr Hopkirk. However, the intention of making the comparisons in here is it is exactly the same time period; it is 18 hours each time. It is unfortunate that we may have created that confusion by not being explicit in putting the number in. The calculations are carried out and the time period T is 18 hours specifically because the general guidance on the prediction and the assessment of railway noise is as an 18-hour period to represent the daytime. It is an unfortunate error in the way that has been represented. There is no inconsistency there. They are comparison of like for A. Q. A. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 18 like in terms of the same time period. It just has not been articulated in that note as well as it should have been and I am sorry for that. Q. Thank you for that. It did cause confusion because further on it is just dB and there are three different, and we are lay people. The timescale is critical because one of the other things was daytime/night time. If it is 06.00 to 24.00 – Again this comes from the guidance contained within the Noise Insulation Regulations for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems, which splits the day and night periods into an 18-hour period from 06.00 until midnight and then a night time period from midnight until 06.00. That is based upon a report called the Mitchell Committee Report which reported in 1992 to advise on appropriate noise descriptives, time periods, all these acoustical elements, to form the basis of the Noise Insulation Regulations for Railways and Guided Transport Systems. My point in this is to draw the Committee’s attention to inconsistencies, and I have every faith in this particular witness who seems to know what he is talking about. The point is that if the SPT, when they have the facility to use expert witnesses, provide erroneous information to Objectors, that is quite serious. I have some other questions on that point and I wonder if I could develop that a little further. A. Q. Assessor: Let us stop at the point you have made there. Am I correct in thinking that this is a badly drafted letter? Is that the essence of it? Mr Fiumicelli: I would not use the word “badly”. There are technical acoustic books that make this error; it is very simple to do. Assessor: I have done it myself in reports. The subscripts are extremely difficult to get in. I am not making any excuses, I am simply saying these things happen, and they can happen inadvertently or they can happen due to what you are suggesting, some degree of indolence or whatever. Let us not pursue that. Mr Hopkirk: I would suggest that one bad report does not make a bad report writer, but I would submit that there have been quite a few bad reports. Assessor: Is it your intention to go through further examples of these? The reason I ask is to what purpose, because if we are trying to get rid of objections to the GARL Rail Link that is good, but if it is simply to demonstrate you have been ill-informed or misinformed, I do not really want to hear that. It is very regrettable but I am anxious to get ahead. You see where I am going, Mr Hopkirk. Mr Hopkirk: I do. I would like to make the point that it is not a singular report and it is not singular errors. That is acoustics: I could draw it in geography. For instance, I don’t know if any of you know where McFarlane Road is, but it is in a Faber Maunsell Report. The closest I could get to was Bearsden. They obviously mean McFarlane Street, but it is used twice. It is a simple mistake but if that is where a legal document is drawn up it is not so simple. These Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 19 are documents published to parliamentary websites. It is just another example. I only spent 24 hours looking through things; these people have been looking through them for a long time. Assessor: Our own site inspection was impeded by that particular geographical error. Would you like to give me one more and then we will move on. Mr Hopkirk: Give me a few seconds to pick my choice, if you don’t mind. We have been talking about noise and vibration and I have other questions and I will bow to the Assessor’s point. Assessor: Hang on. Are your questions going to move to your objection if they are answered to your satisfaction, or are they simply to demonstrate that you believe you have been ill-informed? Mr Hopkirk: I will leave the ones where I believe we have been ill-informed to one side, but there are several and I would like SPT to look at them. Assessor: I am sure that could be done outside the room and that would be helpful. Let us go forward towards the main objective. Mr Hopkirk: We have mentioned about noise. The gist from reading these things is that SPT’s submission is that the reality is that it is invisible acoustically, you never notice it is there because it is all about what the background noise is and how much above the noise and vibration the trains are. I would debate that. I could bring up some errors because we do not know what these figures are, so I would suggest you have to look at that again. However, if you did concede that there were some, there is certainly concern by local residents about noise particularly, and certainly vibration during construction, have SPT thought about designing these things out of the construction, which would be perhaps an amendment to the Bill as far as construction proposal? In other words, if you can say it is tolerable that might be your view. For instance, you say one in ten people get really annoyed at loud traffic noise and may be you decide that is tolerable to the Parliament of the SPT; we don’t know what “annoyed” really means, it doesn’t seem a very technical term. However, would it all be better to consider designing these things out rather than just saying some people will have to put up with quite a potential devastation to their livelihoods and the way they live? Mr Fiumicelli: Taking that broad question and giving a relatively broad response, a line has to be drawn somewhere and we cannot simply keep investing and investing and considering using technology that may not be available to do this. The assessment we have carried out ranks the predictions of noise levels against guidance contained within several specific sources, in particular the Transport Assessment Guidance which is recommended by the Westminster Parliament and Holyrood through the STAG, the Scottish Transport Assessment Guidance system, which gives us a mechanism to assess and ascribe a likely impact from the predicted noise levels from the GARL. That is the methodology and the process we have gone to in coming to the conclusions in the environmental statement. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 20 Mr Hoskins: Mr Hopkirk, can I come in may be to assist you here? My feeling from your question is that it is a policy matter for us, and I think what you are quite rightly asking is what are our proposals for the mitigation. Setting aside what the EIS has assessed, what are our proposals. I know we have had some dialogue about this, and so we are clear, we have a code of construction practice, we have categorically stated that in a draft form and we would welcome input into that. That code of construction practice sets out the general principles the contractor will have to undertake to mitigate activities, particularly in regard to noise and local residents. It also sets out quite clearly if those noise levels are breached there will be mitigation put in place either by the contractor or ultimately, with your approval, to your facility. Or in a situation where it is not possible to physically mitigate it, even potentially to improve re-housing. The code of construction sets out those principles, so we have thought a great deal about that, but we are a Promoter who is quite keen to learn not from the Bills that have gone before but from all the Objectors: is that really relevant to your situation. The door is always absolutely open on construction noise and vibration. We have a policy, we have a code and its drafts, and we have already given evidence to the Committee that we are absolutely more than content that that will be part of the Bill. I would hope that will give you some comfort that within the Bill itself there is a mitigation policy in place for the construction period. I know you are focusing on noise and vibration but it is not only noise and vibration. For operational noise and vibration – and again setting aside whatever the EIS might say – we have provided a policy on that, and again it is in a draft form which we have recognised can be improved, and indeed is under revision at the moment and of course, as an Objector you would be provided with that update. Specifically for your situation what we have categorically said in that noise and vibration policy is that noise insulation regulations would apply. What is important there is that that is a standard that, if operational noise exceeds a certain amount, we have to do something about it, so there is no get out for us. As far as we are concerned as a Promoter we are locking that in and we are saying that we are content that that is part of the Bill. What we have acknowledged, and we went through some of this yesterday morning, is that the policy itself can indeed be improved. Again coming back to the point I made yesterday – and I appreciate you were not here – is that we want to hear from this process for those improvements. It is not for us to lock it down now. We want to hear from site-specific issues or issues that will inform that policy to make it suit those that are affected. The operational noise and vibration, you have to have a commitment that that is fully dealt with in a policy. We fully accept, and that policy will be in the Bill, it will be at least to the level that the current draft policy is at. Indeed, we believe we can improve on that and we are embarking upon improving that now. I fully engage with you in that process totally. Assessor: That is an undertaking. Is that sufficient? Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 21 Mr Hopkirk: I am pleased about that. I was not aware of that. The question I would ask you is: are you aiming to achieve this through improvements to the rolling stock or through some kind of noise abatement mitigation? Assessor: We have heard a fair amount of evidence on this already. I recognise the validity of your question but we have heard all about this. You are interested in the outcome, are you not? What are you asking? Mr Hopkirk: I am really asking is it one thing or another. What I am asking is: is it something you are going to make, run it and if it makes too much noise you will try and fix it? What I am really asking is: why don’t you try and fix it and make sure it is likely to happen, build the design in first. Mr Hoskins: I am happy to take that question. The answer is no. The policy makes it quite clear that in designing these facilities we will use the best practical means in designing them. We have a number of unique situations. We had one yesterday with a particular Theatre where there will be specific measures built in. That is something that is considered not as a whole in every piece of railway but is considered what is the best practical means, and that considers all different types of track arrangement through to the situation if we cannot mitigate it there will be issues of compensation, etc, and trigger levels are clearly set out. It is completely open and I am willing to speak to Mr Hopkirk after the meeting to have better communication. Assessor: We will not go any further on this but I have already been beating a drum that this is a liaison process. It has been accepted by the Promoter that their policy document is a work in progress. It is unfortunate that you are an example of persons who might have been better informed. I have no doubt about that, and had you been better informed we might have been able to avoid some of the pressure that has been placed on you. It is fair to say the Promoters have accepted that position and they are going to update their documents and make them available as soon as possible. Is that fair, through you Mr Gale, to Mr Hoskins? Mr Hoskins: Absolutely, and not just through the community liaison groups. We have had a number of one-to-one meetings and we would be expecting in the next update to be able to talk the Objectors through the policy because we realise – and has been demonstrated today – there is a great deal of technical information in there and it is important we try and distil that in a form that is easy to understand. Assessor: I underscore yet again that the Committee’s preference is for negotiated settlement rather than to have a situation on which they have to arbitrate. If this process is getting us closer that is splendid. Could we move on now to the next item, which is the impact on adjacent property? Mr Marshall: I will speak on the house values and impact. There are not many questions one can ask about impact on house value because it is self-evident, but building something in front of a residence that was not there before must affect the value. We residents have a problem inasmuch as the legislation Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 22 prevents us from either obtaining or getting at an earlier stage some valuation because we can only operate on the basis of claim of blight once the rail link is in operation for 12 months. Which then puts us in an impossible position that either we have to cut and run now and put ourselves in a position of working to an impossible timetable, which is of the SPT’s making, and before the installation of the GARL to try and find somewhere else and not make any advance in terms of property values. The alternative is to sit out irrespective of the conditions or what happens for the next six years, because it will take five to six years anyway before this is fully up and running with a year’s operation, and then take your chances in terms of blight. I wonder if the SPT had allowed anything in their budget for compulsory purchase, because even in terms of the business property, when you wave £1 notes at someone many problems tend to go away. There are a few people in the area who were thinking about moving and if there were £1 notes on the table they would go even quicker, thereby removing many of the objections, but that is a direct thing. Assessor: I will allow that question and perhaps you would answer if there is anything in your budget, but thereafter you may be tackling head-on the entire business of compensation and the compensation code. The compensation code is not a matter we can deal with here. Mr Hoskins: I can certainly clarify Mr Hopkirk’s point about costs and what has been allowed for. Within the estimated costs for the project there has been an assessment of land and compensation and that has been included within the estimate of expense submitted with the Bill. I would also advise that we have sought an independent review for that land and compensation costs. That independent review has provided us with certainty that we have the appropriate figure for land and compensation, so we have not sat on that figure, we have undertaken the review. I would further add that in recognition of the land and compensation costs and the dealing with those costs, the Promoter will be appointing shortly property support services to manage that element in regard to land and compensation. We feel it is being dealt with both in an appropriate and professional way in regard to this project. Assessor: Thank you. That is about as far as we can go. Mr Marshall: As I said, there are not many questions you can ask about the impact on values, it is self-evident. Assessor: Indeed, but you are aware of the compensation code and the manner in which it is bound to be applied. Mr Marshall: Thank you. Assessor: Does that conclude your case? Mr Hopkirk: You mentioned about McFarlane Street and you discussed with Renfrewshire Council. You have a table that talks about impact on Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 23 construction and impact on operation, and there never seems to be any significant inconvenience, and the A726 McFarlane Street is an example. The impact during construction is described as minor and negative. The Council suggests that while the A726 is having some road closures the traffic will be routed down McFarlane Street on a temporary basis – five days, an hour or two, I don’t know how long. I would not say that putting main arterial route traffic along a minor road would be a minor and negative impact. Mr Hoskins: In short, the road diversions have not been planned in detail. Those will be agreed with the local authority and it is not something that is unusual to do both as a trunk road, a motorway or as a local road, and we do not feel we have been either inconsistent or downplayed this matter at all. Assessor: Thank you very much indeed. Mr Gale, could I ask if you have any matters you want to deal with here? Mr Gale: Very briefly, thank you. Mr Fiumicelli, can I direct one question to you? An issue was raised, I think by Mr Marshall, concerning the possible impact of vibration effect upon the viaduct from trains travelling on the viaduct. I think we then went to Mr Berry on fire clay mines. Can you give us an indication of your view of the likely impact of vibration caused by trains travelling on the viaduct upon the foundations of the stanchions of the viaduct? Mr Fiumicelli: My view would be that the design process will be optimised to ensure that the impacts will be negligible. There are several routes by which any vibration generated by the movement of the train are dynamically and statically mitigated. Pretty similar to the list of mitigation measures I gave yesterday for the mitigation of vibration in terms of The Arches. We are talking about controlling the train speed, you look at the wheel rail interaction, you look at the way in which the rail sits on to the sleepers, you look at the way in which the sleepers or the trap bed lies on the underlying viaduct structure. These are all opportunities to put in place damped or what are called resilient layers, albeit sponge-like materials or spring-based systems that absorb the energy, dissipate the energy and prevent it getting into the system. Since the birth of the railways there is a wealth of experience of building viaducts and coping with vibration from them, and I am sure the engineers will be calling on that and the appropriate professional guidance in incorporating that kind of mitigation and control if needed into this viaduct. My view is that the viaduct itself will need relatively little specific mitigation to control vibration transmission because we are dealing with, although heavy, relatively lightweight trains moving at quite slow speeds, compared to some of the bigger more robust viaducts taking Intercity-type trains at 100 mph plus. It is more than feasible. Assessor: Thank you very much. Would you care to take the witness stand? Are you going to take evidence from Mr Hopkirk or is Mr Hopkirk going to take evidence from you? How are you going to play it? Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 24 Mr Marshall: I have no questions. Mr Hopkirk: We would answer any questions but we have not been through this procedure before so we are unprepared. Assessor: The position is that if you wish you can give evidence. I understood that you had a prepared statement. Mr Marshall: They have answered all the questions which were asked in our prepared statement. Assessor: That is helpful in itself. Are you in a position to move to making closing statements then? Is this the position that we could go to, Mr Gale? Do you have any difficulty with that? Mr Gale: I have no difficulty at all. Assessor: Would you care to make a closing statement? I understand the procedures are new to you but the Bill’s unit have done as much as they can humanly to prepare you. I am desperately keen that you have the opportunity to make your case in your own way. I am offering you some time now to make a final statement which is your final position. What would it take? Mr Hopkirk: We would like to do that. I wonder whether we could have a few minutes. Would that be possible? Assessor: As long as it is your closing statement, let us do it. I am prepared to give you five minutes to prepare what you want. I want to take some other evidence afterwards – I am not trying to rush you. I think you heard me at the beginning of this procedure, and I am perfectly prepared to read it out again. What I would like to have, for the benefit of the Bill Committee so they are absolutely clear where you stand, is the following. I would like them to know precisely what you regard as the issues, and only those ones which you are here to speak about. I would like to know what your final position is on each one of these, and then how, if at all, you would like to see the Bill amended in order to meet your objection. You do not have to give me that in any legalistic terms, just in lay language that the Committee would be able to understand. Similarly the Promoter will be asked to do exactly the same thing. Would you be able to do that if I gave you five minutes to make that preparation? Mr Marshall: No problems. Assessor: I would take it in the following order. I would ask Mr Gale to go first and then I would ask you to go second, unless Mr Gale has any problems with that. [The Hearing adjourns at 3.02 pm] [The Hearing reconvenes at 3.11 pm] Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 25 Closing Submissions Assessor: Now to take the closing submissions. The order was Mr Gale to go first. Mr Gale: There are a number of issues remaining being considered by the Inquiry in relation to the Objectors and they were listed at the outset. In the letter on St James Park, throughout the letter has recognised the significance of St James Park as both an open space area and as the area containing significant number of football pitches, and also as a recreational area. With that in mind, the Promoter has engaged with the local authority as well as other organisations to ensure that the disruption to the Park and its provision of football pitches is restricted to a minimum during inevitable construction in and around the Park. You have heard that the gross number of pitches will be reduced to 20 from 22, but I think I can say the significance of that would be slightly lessened by the fact that the drainage facilities in and around the Park, which are clearly at the moment deficient, will be improved and the sterilisation of certain of the pitches currently as a result of drainage issues will be removed. The Promoter will make provision during the construction phase for alternative pitches at other locations. Assessor: At Ferguslie Park, as I recall. Mr Gale: Indeed. There are a number of minor issues addressed by the Objectors today in relation to the sizing of pitches and the distance between pitches. I can understand that a metre may seem somewhat insignificant between pitches but, as Mr Hoskins indicated, this has been agreed with the Council and the Council’s standards in relation to this matter would be achieved. So far as St James Park is concerned, obviously I am not entirely clear what the Objectors’ eventual position will be relating to amendment of the Bill so far as it may have an impact upon the Park is concerned, but in my submission, given these measures that we have indicated, very inadequately in my submission at this stage, but in very much more detail throughout the Bill procedure, this is not a matter upon which the Bill should be in any way altered or amended. Traffic disruption again was very much in the context of local traffic disruption, albeit certain observations were made concerning traffic disruption and in particular traffic disruption on the M8 in the context of the construction of the bridge across the M8. However, today’s proceedings have related to local traffic disruption. You have heard from Mr Hoskins that these are matters that have been looked at, and you, sir, made the pertinent comment that if there is a difficulty in transporting materials to the localised sites, as was clarified, the construction would take place in a different manner rather than not take place at all. Noise and vibration has again been canvassed today. Mr Fiumicelli has given evidence on a number of matters, in particular, starting with the matter of vibration from the viaduct, he has indicated that it is not envisaged that there Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 26 will be any difficulty with that and that in any event the engineering solution that were touched upon yesterday, and again referred to today, can be put in place. The concern of the Objectors through the question appeared to be that a combination of vibration and the underground conditions associated with fire clay mines might have a deleterious effect upon the supports of the viaduct. That was effectively, in my submission, completely negated by a combination of the evidence of Mr Fiumicelli and the very clear evidence of Mr Berry who indicated that he envisaged no difficulty having regard to the current state of knowledge of the fire clay mines. The final area of evidence today was in relation to the impact upon house values. It is recognised by all parties I think, that there may be an impact upon house values. Mr Hoskins indicated that there was an element already in the project budget for this and, of course, there is the appropriate procedure that can be gone through in the event that there is a provable diminution in property values. Beyond that I have very little to say. The Promoter’s position is that the tone of today’s proceedings has been in marked contrast to the tone of certainly the communications that have been received, and I am grateful for that. That said, in light of these various objections and in light of the totality of the evidence presented by the Promoter in witness statements and associated documents, the Promoter does not propose any revivals, suggested amendments or other adjustments to the terms of the Bill as currently stated. Assessor: Thank you. Gentlemen, are we of one mind and one voice here? Mr Marshall: I have four points. I appreciated being invited today for the ability to put our point of view across. In terms of noise reduction, it has always been SPT’s contention that an environmental solution would be effective, and when you consider it is at one point three metres in the air, it is not going to be effective immediately. They have never yet at any time considered or undertaken to review the engineering solution, which is in place, in Britain, at the present time and is designed totally to mitigate noise. This will obviously add cost but that is not my concern. I am here to try and reduce the impact on the environment and the local community. Secondly, the ethos of the Park will be totally destroyed because currently it is the largest green area of recreational facility in Scotland, and I believe the second largest in the UK. You can build anything you like on it and say it is a viaduct and it is quite a space and it has height but it is not going to interfere with anything, you are only going to lose four pitches. In effect you are destroying the ethos and the reputation for the area for handling large scale sports events. It is a matter of great regret to the community that an alternative route to serve the airport was not found which would serve the purpose of the airport and provide visitors with a fast route to Glasgow but not impact on the Park. This could go on forever, but there are many other routes and it depends on the qualification, but as far as we are concerned it is the right idea to the airport but the wrong route and the wrong location at the wrong time for no benefit to anybody. Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 27 In terms of traffic impact and disruption, to my knowledge this has never been costed economically, given the fact that construction would probably run in the area over about three years, may be four years, and more so if you consider that Mr Gale has mentioned crossing the M8 with the current bridge as designed. To be honest, when one reviews the SPT’s method of construction, the M8 is not going to be shut for 12 hours, it is more like 12 days, and again they have not considered the economic factor involved in this to the community or the additional cost. The reduction in traffic numbers is a joke. From the previous hearing it is supposed to be reduce traffic congestion on the M8 by 0.8 per cent over 14 or 15 years, and I doubt even if their expert could quantify that given the current situation of the traffic increase. In terms of the PNCC itself, we still await a written statement answering all our objections. As an aside, as Chairman of SADD I still also await a rebuttal of my statements back to them from 2 July. I have nothing else to say but I will pass to Mr Hopkirk to close. Mr Hopkirk: Thank you. It just remains for me to say that the Community Council and our local community have to express our disappointment in the way the Promoter has carried out their role. We feel that they have not lived up to what we might have expected from them. It is something I have heard other witnesses express throughout this process, and I think it is truthful to say that the Committee even expressed a little disappointment in the Promoter at one of the meetings. We find this very sad and there is no reason for that. We just wanted to know the facts, the vision the Promoter had, timelessly and honestly in a way that was easily understood by a lay person, and we do not feel, despite our attempts, that has happened. It remains to be seen whether it is approved by the Committee and ultimately Holyrood. I know I can speak for the Community Council to say that we hope it does not, but if it does we sincerely hope that the Promoter pays back the lack of trust and respect the community have developed for them and make up for that because there is no need for this, and I just reiterate our disappointment. We would hope that, if nothing else, you learn from this and please do not inflict this level of commitment or whatever on any other community because it is not appreciated. I would like to thank the Assessor for inviting us here and listening to us. Thank you. Assessor: The invitation came from the Committee and it is your right. There was one thing missing from the closing submission and, unusually, I will intervene. The principle of the Bill was before us. Do you have specific recommendations to the Committee as to how you would like to see the Bill amended? I understand your position is that you are upset about a considerable number of matters and you would like these to be taken on board during the process of liaison which will continue, particularly noise and vibration but perhaps in other matters as the detailed design comes forward. I want to be absolutely clear, because you have come along this afternoon, you Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 28 have spent a great deal of time and trouble on this, do you have any specific proposal or is that simply not something you wanted to address at this stage? Mr Hopkirk: If we could we would obviously change the route on to the mainline. Failing that, the noise and vibration is our major concern. The East Coast mainline and in Kent AVRO have built noise cladding round the bridge, and I would say look at specific residential areas and consider all those people who are going to have to live there. You cannot just close your window. We do get nice weather in Scotland sometimes, and that would be appreciated. Assessor: Thank you very much indeed. I would say on behalf of the Committee that the tone of your evidence has been extremely helpful this afternoon. That completes Group 10 as far as your own evidence is concerned. However, there are a number of members of the group who are resting. There are no questions emanating from what they have presented in their written submissions, so I have no need to bring forward any of your witnesses. Thank you very much. [The Hearing concludes at 3.25 pm] Fiona Shipley Transcription Ltd 29
"GLASGOW AIRPORT RAIL LINK BILL"