Anne Main MP received a response from Network Rail today, over one month after she wrote to them to express her concerns about the capacity and demand for a Strategic Railfreight Interchange (SRFI) in Radlett.
The letter from Network Rail seeks to clarify the current status of work on rail infrastructure that serves the SRFI. But Anne believes that critical questions have still not been answered. ‘In the 11th hour, and the 57th minute, I am baffled that we still have no idea of how the railfreight site is going to operate’, she says.
‘Network Rail is trundling along whilst the developer will very soon be in a position to bid for the land. Nothing should happen until there is complete clarity on the issue. I am sure Herts County Council will take note of this.’
In their letter, Network Rail said that they will ensure that plans for the SRFI do not ‘adversely impact’ current services and known future development proposals.
But the St Albans MP hit back, ‘This is the same stuff we’ve heard from Network Rail and Segro before. As I’ve already highlighted to Network Rail, current routes between London and South East are some of the busiest in the country, and are only going to get busier. I have still seen nothing to ease my concerns about the impact of increased freight-traffic on commuters.
‘Network Rail has been under the microscope recently. Last week the Secretary of State announced a major reform of how the tracks are run, and recently St Albans’ commuters have suffered because of problems on the tracks.’
Anne has said that she will meet Network Rail once their plans have been completed, but ‘yet again Network Rail has given assurances without any substance. The public lack trust in this development. Back in 2008 the Inspector took their assurances at face-value, yet we are no further forward. I am staggered that we are still in this position.’