Not good enough

PUBLISHED: 13:22 01 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:30 06 May 2010

SIR — Ross Middleton suggests I must write to Network Rail over their capacity issues on the main line through St Albans (Herts Advertiser, September 17). Why? They have already been quoted as saying they cannot guarantee Helioslough s 12 daily return tra

SIR - Ross Middleton suggests I must write to Network Rail over their capacity issues on the main line through St Albans (Herts Advertiser, September 17).

Why? They have already been quoted as saying they cannot guarantee Helioslough's 12 daily return trains.

All the reference to the RUS (Route Utilisation Strategy) and restoration of sections of former rail lines north of Bedford still doesn't explain how the daytime extra trains will find capacity through and into/out of Radlett.

We now know the Thameslink programme is a definite runner. It means longer and some extra trains, and a more reliable and punctual service. Unless of course, compromised by congestion.

So, rather than writing to Network Rail, I've written already to the planning inspector requesting that this tax payer-funded organisation appears at the inquiry to explain in detail how it will deliver its timetable promise for all the extra trains after 2012.

This, of course, could prove difficult. Perhaps this is why, as reported in the Herts Advertiser on September 10, Helioslough is arguing that there is no reason to reopen the issue of rail paths entering the site? Things have changed since the previous studies and if the inquiry is to be thorough, all new facts should surely be heard, for it affects thousands of people.

And should this wretched scheme get approved and, in the years to come, our train service goes down the pan, I'm tempted to propose that all the compensation payments come directly from those who caused the delay to the commuters.

This might be Helioslough and one Planning Inspectorate that allowed the thing to happen. Fat chance that!

Instead, Network Rail will fork out which means moving taxpayers money from one accountants' pot to another. So, adding insult to injury, we end up paying for a poorer service, bad decisions and the attack on our local community and environment.

Unless Mr Middleton has some other 'would be nice if' suggestions where such compensation cash might come from. This isn't in the RUS.

ERIC ROBERTS

Fishpool Street, St Albans

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