Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Motion - "Impact of Crossrail delay on local residents and businesses"

Decision:

Resolved –

 

Council notes the negative impact caused by the failure to deliver theCrossrail project on time and the knock on effect this has had on residents and businesses in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

 

Council notes with concern that with each week Crossrail goes undelivered, the cost rises by an additional £30 million with it likely to fall to London residents to foot the bill for this delay. Council further notes the failure of Crossrail engage with our Transport scrutiny panel, which would have allowed Councillors and residents to voice their concerns regarding the delay directly.

 

Council notes the importance of Crossrail in improving access to Central London from the East of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Council agrees that the delay in delivery means that for commuters, journeys from Woolwich and Abbey Wood to Central London are currently double the time they would be compared to if Crossrail had been delivered on time.

 

Council further notes that the delay means that local businesses, and particularly those around Woolwich and Abbey Wood stations, have longer to wait before realising the economic benefits that Crossrail promises to bring. However, Council notes the comments of the new Crossrail team to set a new opening date for the line and acknowledges the progress made towards this goal since our last meeting.

 

Council also notes that the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability & Transport has been representing the Council at high level meetings convened by the Mayor of London who has been holding Crossrail to account and working with all stakeholders to make sure the line is open as quickly as possible.

 

Council formally notes that the Mayor of London’s successful negotiation to agree a finance arrangement with the Government, and the Mayor of London’s implementation of changes to the leadership and governance structure of Crossrail Ltd, have ensured that the outstanding work required to finish the project can now be completed.

 

Council believes it will also be crucial to ensure that the positive impact of Crossrail, once finally delivered, benefits all communities within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

 

Council notes the progress of the ongoing public realm improvements within the vicinity of the station and requests an update report on progress is provided to a future meeting of the Regeneration scrutiny panel.

 

 

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that the motion had been deferred from the last ordinary meeting of Council.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis moved the motion. He commented that the delay to Crossrail affected not just commuters but the local businesses and local economy. He highlighted that the continuing construction works at Abbey Wood was negatively impacting on businesses there and left the public realm uninviting and difficult to navigate. He suggested that to help businesses there the Council should introduce signage that guided passengers to the shops and encouraged residents to use those local businesses. He suggested that the Council should engage with the Abbey Wood Village Traders Association to develop ways of negating the impact of the delay, and, in the most extreme cases and where applicable, the Council should look to offer business rate relief. He felt there was a need for the Council to speak with businesses and residents about how CIL generated money was spent.

 

In seconding the motion, Councillor Matt Clare, added there was a  need for additional Jubilee line trains.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe proposed the amendment to the motion, as detailed in the published Tabled Items 2 agenda. It was recognised that everyone in the Chamber was disappointed with the delay, but it was not agreed that the Mayor of London was responsible. He commented on cuts to the Crossrail budget by the Coalition Government. He highlighted that moving forward Crossrail would have its own Board with a high degree of autonomy from TfL. He explained that the Mayor of London had obtained the money to complete Crossrail railway and conduct the intensive testing to ensure there would be a safe and reliable service from day one.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis did not accept the amendment.

 

Councillor Denise Hyland spoke in support of the amendment. She agreed that the delay was dreadful but that the delay could not be attributed to the Mayor of London. She commented on the problems with the completion of the testing.  She noted support was being given to business near the station, with Bexley Council leading on the complementary measures.

Councillor Denise Scott-McDonald commented on how the Mayor of London had addressed what had gone wrong and had made a commitment to do things differently. She explained that the matter would be looked at by London Councils. She highlighted that the Mayor of London had created a new forum, had brought a change in leadership to the Board, and that showed there was a new direction, that things were going to happen and that the project would be delivered.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis closed the debate on the amendment.

 

The Mayor put the amendment to the vote and with the majority party in favour and the minority party against it was agreed.

 

Councillor Charlie Davis felt that more could be done for the residents and local businesses affected by the delay.

 

Councillor Danny Thorpe closed the debate.

 

The Mayor put the amended motion to the vote and with the majority party in favour and the minority party abstaining it was

 

Resolved –

 

Council notes the negative impact caused by the failure to deliver theCrossrail project on time and the knock on effect this has had on residents and businesses in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

 

Council notes with concern that with each week Crossrail goes undelivered, the cost rises by an additional £30 million with it likely to fall to London residents to foot the bill for this delay. Council further notes the failure of Crossrail engage with our Transport scrutiny panel, which would have allowed Councillors and residents to voice their concerns regarding the delay directly.

 

Council notes the importance of Crossrail in improving access to Central London from the East of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Council agrees that the delay in delivery means that for commuters, journeys from Woolwich and Abbey Wood to Central London are currently double the time they would be compared to if Crossrail had been delivered on time.

 

Council further notes that the delay means that local businesses, and particularly those around Woolwich and Abbey Wood stations, have longer to wait before realising the economic benefits that Crossrail promises to bring. However, Council notes the comments of the new Crossrail team to set a new opening date for the line and acknowledges the progress made towards this goal since our last meeting.

 

Council also notes that the Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Sustainability & Transport has been representing the Council at high level meetings convened by the Mayor of London who has been holding Crossrail to account and working with all stakeholders to make sure the line is open as quickly as possible.

 

Council formally notes that the Mayor of London’s successful negotiation to agree a finance arrangement with the Government, and the Mayor of London’s implementation of changes to the leadership and governance structure of Crossrail Ltd, have ensured that the outstanding work required to finish the project can now be completed.

 

Council believes it will also be crucial to ensure that the positive impact of Crossrail, once finally delivered, benefits all communities within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

 

Council notes the progress of the ongoing public realm improvements within the vicinity of the station and requests an update report on progress is provided to a future meeting of the Regeneration scrutiny panel.

 

 

Supporting documents: