Serious threat

SIR, — I read with mounting dismay and confusion last week s batch of letters on the proposed rail freight depot issue. I wonder if these truly reflect the tone and content of the letters that you have been receiving – I hope not for the sake of the peopl

SIR, - I read with mounting dismay and confusion last week's batch of letters on the proposed rail freight depot issue. I wonder if these truly reflect the tone and content of the letters that you have been receiving - I hope not for the sake of the people of St Albans.

Apart from the letter from Matthew Hart taking the Grimstons to task over their apparent proposed deal with developer Helioslough, this appeared to be a very jaded and defeatist set of opinions. Even then Mr Hart talked about Park Street as David to Helioslough's Goliath; you might remember that David did have a whole army with him - he chose to fight alone.

The catastrophic effects of the development of a massive rail freight depot on Green-Belt land - owned by Herts County Council and as I understand it, held in covenant for community use - will touch all residents of St Albans. I currently drive along the A414 between the M10 Park Street roundabout and the London Colney Roundabout, on a daily basis. This piece of road is already heavily used and frequently congested. Indeed if there are ever incidents on either the M1 or the M25, then the result has been near gridlock on this route and throughout the city. The addition of another roundabout to access the rail freight depot and the daily movement of at least 3,000 more HGV vehicles plus the private vehicles of those working in the facility - car parking for at least 1,665 cars on site - will result in traffic overload and chaotic travel conditions

At the consultation at the Noke Hotel - which incidentally was very well attended by a large majority of people who most certainly do not welcome the return of "Goliath" and were making their objections very clear - I was assured by Simon Hoare of Helioslough that the lorries will be instructed to try not to access the depot during peak times. I cannot imagine that they will find this easy to comply with. I cannot say that I have noticed a reduction in road freight at peak times compared to other times of the day.


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I am saddened that the people of St Albans do not appear to be getting behind this fight against a development that will affect all in the community. St Albans is an historic market town with many excellent facilities and attractive features including the remains of the Roman town, St Albans Abbey and splendid historic buildings in the city centre and the Conservation Area - not to mention holding a unique place in the history of our nation. We have the potential to attract many visitors and thus considerably increase local commerce. The biggest rail freight depot in Europe built less than a mile from the city centre would appear to be a ridiculous incongruity.

JUDITH GORDON,

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Park Street, St Albans.

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