Rail freight fight

SIR - Your letters columns are full of basically the same arguments criticising the rail freight depot every week. Here are some pertinent points you might care to investigate yourself which would conceivable alter the whole plan? The developer Heliosloug

SIR - Your letters columns are full of basically the same arguments criticising the rail freight depot every week. Here are some pertinent points you might care to investigate yourself which would conceivable alter the whole plan?

The developer Helioslough has allowed in its plans space for a station which would serve the locality and presumably the depot staff.

Why has this not been moved forward? According to Helioslough "because the County have declined to discuss it with us". Yet it is in the County Structure Plan, a legal document.

A station would immensely improve the quality of life not to mention depressed property values for the adjoining area.


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It is surely worth questioning why such a major improvement is not being discussed. Is a blanket being thrown over it by County Hall?

If locals believe the myth that the trains would not stop at a new station, or the workers would fail to come by it, then look at scores of examples nationwide.

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For anyone doubting the value of a station just look at how close houses are the length of the line and specifically ask estate agents in areas that have these houses so close to the same railway what one of the main questions are when buyers look at properties for sale. I suspect it would be one regarding accessibility of a station. Houses within spitting distance of stations on the Thameslink route are always the first to be sold.

The second element of concern is the frequently aired notion that there can never be a connection from the M25 to the rail freight depot. Even Helioslough repeat this line, for an obvious reason.

Seeking advice from the CPRE I was told that the Highways Agency always tell developers that they have no money and any improvements to the highway infrastructure must be developer led. Heliouslough would have to pay! Yet there are specific grants available for important projects such as these where it is proved traffic overall will disappear from local roads. Indeed it ought to be a 'no brainer'!

Such a connection from the M25 to the depot only would surely make a major difference. I'm sure even STRiFE would agree. So why isn't it being pursued?

Is the county being member-led into not pushing for a station or an M25 link? Is there collusion? Are Helioslough only telling locals half the truth and the county likewise? All to save themselves money in the long run? While locals object using their own resources. Important questions that need asking and which if resolved would help everyone.

L FREITAG

Cravells Road

Harpenden

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