I join other Members in paying a warm tribute to the Chairman of the Committee, the hon. Member for Reading, West (Sir A. Durant), and the members of that Committee—not because I am a creep, although I am prepared to do almost anything to get the Stratford international station located in my area, but because I have chaired many a Committee on a private Bill and I know precisely how much hard work goes into it and how little credit is given to the Members who carry out the work.
I also join with the hon. Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) and others who have referred to blight. I raise the matter in a slightly jokey fashion, but on the present alignment the tunnel would go immediately under my house in Forest Gate. I am quite happy for that to happen if we can get the international station located at Stratford. Indeed, I do not care if the tunnel goes right through my living room so long as we get that station.
Compensation and blight must be taken into account. One would always hope that Union Railways and the Government would be as generous as possible. Many people who want the project are living in properties which will be blighted, especially if, as has been suggested, the time scale for the project is way beyond 10 years.
When the Chairman reported the initial findings of the Committee, he said:
It is our view that a station at Stratford capable of handling international traffic is desirable both in the national interest and in the interest of regenerating eastern London.
In east London we say "Hear, hear" to that.
The long box recommendation, which safeguards the possibility of an international station at Stratford, has been accepted by the Government, who will require the nominated undertaker to build it, but they are resisting the Committee's proposal that it should be done under the Transport and Works Act 1992.