My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Tom Harris) has made the following Ministerial Statement.
At the Third Reading of the Crossrail Bill, this House will be asked to approve the Bill and, in so doing, give its approval to the building of Crossrail. Under the environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive, decision-making bodies are required to consider the environmental effects of projects when deciding whether or not they should be allowed to proceed. To assist the House in its consideration, the Government have today published a Command Paper entitled Government Overview of the Case for Crossrail and its Environmental Impacts (Cm 7250). The Command Paper summarises the work done to assess, control and mitigate the environmental impacts of Crossrail and explains why the Government continue to take the view that the Crossrail project is worthy of their support. It also contains a list of other relevant documents and where they may be found.
We have also published today a Command Paper containing further responses following consultation on the Crossrail Bill environmental statement (Cm 7249: Further Responses to the Government’s Consultation on the Crossrail Bill Environmental Statement). To obtain an overall picture of the responses received, Members should also consider Command Paper 6603 (Responses to the Government’s Consultation on the Crossrail Bill Environmental Statement), which was published in July 2005.
Copies of Command Papers 7249 and 7250 are available in the Library of the House. They can also be found on the Department for Transport website at www.dft.gov.uk.