Anne Main MP has today written to the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, demanding answers over the proposed rail freight interchange in Park Street, St Albans.
‘For many years now I have been implacably opposed to this development’, the letter reads, ‘not least because I have never had any substantive answers about SRFI’s viability’.
The letter follows months of correspondence between Anne and Network Rail regarding planned infrastructural development to accommodate a railfreight site without disrupting passenger services. For Anne, Network Rail has not provided any satisfactory answers.
‘That we are so close to the developer purchasing the land and beginning the works, and have had no answers to two extremely critical aspects, I think seriously undermines the viability of the SRFI.
‘Constituents cannot possible understand how it is they will be affected on their daily commuter train on the Midland Mainline (MML)’, Anne writes: ‘They pay some of the highest fares per yard in the country, and since the works at London Bridge have had to endure an often extremely disrupted service. If we do not get answers on the post-2018 timetabling very soon, they will justifiably believe that the new passenger timetabling will not be compatible with freight on the MML.’
In the letter, Anne calls for an ‘urgent meeting’ with the Secretary of State.
‘Network Rail was pivotal in convincing the inspector of the vert special circumstances of the development and its deliverability’, Anne writes.
‘I have always believed that their assurances were vague and unrealistic. As we have never seen any evidence of this, I think an urgent meeting to fully discuss these issues is entirely appropriate and necessary.’