Anne Main has called on Network Rail to produce a ‘detailed study’ on the impact that railfreight would have on passenger services for St Albans commuters.
In a joint letter by the St Albans and Hertsmere MPs, Anne Main and Oliver Dowden, they said that they were ‘especially concerned’ for commuters after ‘similar assurances’ had been made that the current works at London Bridge would have no effect on current passenger services.
The MPs said that, ‘[t]he reality has been very different. The works currently taking place at London Bridge are routinely cited as being one of the main causes of frequent delays and cancellations on the Thameslink line. The concerns that we have regarding the possible impact of the proposed railfreight terminal on passenger services are therefore heightened as a result of what we have seen to be the case with infrastructural improvement works at London Bridge.’
The letter was prompted after a meeting of the MPs and Govia Thameslink, in which the train company gave assurances that the Thameslink service would have priority on the line over freight. The MPs took it upon themselves to write to Network Rail stating that they ‘think it is incumbent upon Network Rail’, as the body responsible for scheduling and timetabling, ‘to provide [the MPs] with those assurances in the form of a detailed study that will assuage these concerns.’
‘We need firm evidence’, the MPs said, ‘that there has been a proper impact assessment done by Network Rail’, and asked the rail operator to provide their analysis of the timetabling, ‘or undertake to properly assess scheduling with freight and passenger services on the line.’