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St Albans MP Anne Main: Rail freight response from Network Rail 'not good enough'
St Albans MP Anne Main has said Network Rail’s response to her concerns over the possible adverse effects rail freight related work could have on commuters is "not good enough."
Following Ms Main’s meeting with the Transport Minister, Simon Burns MP, and his subsequent letter to Network Rail, the train provider has now responded to concerns over possible problems to the First Capital Connect service if a rail freight depot was to be built near Park Street.
After receiving the letter, Ms Main said the letter makes several errors, referring to the proposal as being for a rail freight terminal, not a strategic rail freight terminal (SRFI). She added the letter referred to Radlett as being one of the very few options to develop a terminal, however overlooked the two current planning permissions at Howbry and Alconbury.
Ms Main described the answers from the train provider as "vague reassurances rather than the detailed responses that were requested."
Ms Main said: "I am not surprised that Network Rail’s letter contains errors and exhibits a lack of attention to detail; it is what I am used to receiving from them.
"I have written back to them highlighting their errors and requesting further detail, however I have little hope of Network Rail giving this the attention that it requires.
"I am fed up with receiving bland assurances from Network Rail that ‘it will be alright on the night’. It is too easy to give vague assurances without a robust focus on statistics and evidence.
"I am also unhappy that blight on individual properties is not being recognised. I am sure that my constituents will be deeply disappointed that there seems to be less protection for those harmed by this SRFI than those harmed by HS2.
"I am very concerned that there is no requirement for the developer to mitigate individual blight for homeowners caused by this proposal. Consequently, as much as possible does need to be done through s106 arrangements to ensure that this problem is address.
"Having said all this, I will continue to do everything I can to stop this development going through by whatever means I can."
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