Your letters to the Herts Ad...
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In response to the letter from Philip Nalpanis (Herts Ad January 19) I can assure him and your readers that the fears expressed about next year’s Thameslink timetable were made in the full knowledge that only (only!) up to 16 of the 20/24 trains per hour through the core cross-London tunnel would be via St Albans; the other eight via Stevenage.
He appears to have missed the point.
For the entire service to work reliably ALL those trains will need to dovetail in order and on time and not be delayed (by more freight?) whilst en route in order to make those 2 1/2 - 3 minute intervals. Otherwise the timetable just collapses like a row of dominoes, as so often happens now coming through from the south London direction. Then the blame game starts with passengers ending up the victims.
Your January 12 article was accurate. As reported in Modern Railways, senior officials are expressing concern whether the proposed timetable is robust and will actually work. Insert, even off-peak, more freight like those Helioslough freightliners, and the potential for even greater operational problems becomes very real.
The new timetable starts in just over 12 months. It is incredible that, after years of seeking clarity, not even our MPs can obtain precise details from Network Rail about how any of the railfreight depot’s trains might impact on our service, plus when and how the necessary infrastructure engineering works will take place on the route’s tunnels, bridges, points and sidings - all very disruptive for passengers.
Mr Nalpanis obviously believes more freight should go by rail. I agree, but only when in the right place and operational circumstances. The risk of jeopardising the performance of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Enhancement investment by a railfreight depot near Radlett is huge. An unreliable train service affects commuters’ lives, their families plus the economy and image of St Albans.
- 1 Recap: Rail delays through St Albans and Harpenden after train hits branch
- 2 Jubilee garden opened at Harpenden primary school
- 3 Fire crews receive 'multiple' 999 calls amid large blaze at Welham Green
- 4 The Crossrail connections to Hertfordshire which were never built
- 5 St Albans garden centre dedicates fundraising year to Brain Tumour Research
- 6 School's generous donation to foodbank
- 7 Goods worth more than £260 in total stolen from St Albans Co-op store
- 8 Clarence Park deckchairs banned following council concerns
- 9 Breakaway Theatre Company returns with an enjoyable day at the races in Ladies' Day
- 10 Teenager ‘robbed at knife-point' by two males in Hemel Hempstead
Readers, believe who you want! Only your daily travel experiences will end up telling you who is right.
But don’t you have enough reasons already to have some doubts whether your local network can, and will cope?
Room for those extra freight trains with no adverse consequences - where’s the proof?
ERIC ROBERTS Fishpool Street, St Albans
Further to considerations of a Eden Project type scheme and new station supported both financially and physically by four residential towers (Herts Ad December 22) there is an existing unused highway bridge over the M25 on the London Colney rail freight site and a nearby train link to the slow lines.
If we have to find a local site for the rail freight warehouses could they consider moving them to the east of the railway (eliminating the need and disruption for a new tunnel linking to the slow lines) and south, straddling either side of M25 using the existing unused road bridge.
It could also allow a new lorry direct link to Junction 22 offloading the A414 and a train direct link to the existing siding off the slow rail lines.
It would also be a more logical extension of the existing industrial area as attached.
There are complications with land levels, land ownership, district boundaries and costs but the benefits to both operator and residents of less rail and road disruption are large.
MIKE WAKELY Oakfield Road, Harpenden
I was disappointed to read your article ‘Does anybody actually want controlled parking?’ this evening.
I wondered what your evidence and basis was for the misleading headline and article? The comments of two of your readers?
I would suggest you inspect the documents on the council’s website which show that in the first stage of the consultation the majority of respondents voted in favour of a CPZ. Hence why the consultation has continued to this next stage and is likely to result in the introduction of parking restrictions.
I am fairly certain the answer to your headline is that in fact quite a few residents of the relevant streets (most) do want controlled parking.
NAME & ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Your article following my letter concerning the consultation on the proposed CPZ failed to get any real answer from either the council or the councillors. They both failed to respond to what I and your reporter asked of them, namely:
Where are all the commuters going to park if this scheme is implemented?
Where are the sixth formers who need to travel from one school site to the other going to park their vehicles ?
Where are the worshippers at the two mosques in Hatfield Road going to park on Fridays ?
Where are visitors to the Community Centre in Royal Road going to park as highlighted by your correspondent Ms Beryl Watson?
Why is the underutilised York Road even being considered ,possibly disenfranchising some 40 parking spaces in this road?
And what are the initial costs in setting up the whole scheme and who is paying for it?
Answering these questions could help the residents in this area to complete the questionnaire
PETER S NORMAN Brampton Road, St Albans
Please would the person who took the brand new TV aerial from my front garden in Salisbury Avenue on the morning of Friday January 20 do one of the following:
1) Return it - it was about to be installed on the roof, hence the ladders you no doubt spotted against the house;
2) Return to the house and pick up the fittings you didn’t manage to steal with the aerial (there will be a charge for these);
3) Return to the house and drop the cost of a new aerial through my letter box so that I can replace the one you stole. £40 will cover it.
NAME & ADDRESS SUPPLIED
Having a disabled friend who’s recently travelled from the West Country to Glasgow by rail, with reportedly excellent attention at the two changes involved, may I suggest David Clarke (January 12) tries the train next time he needs to go to Scotland.
No Passport Control or security hassle, nor lengthy check-in time, nor the possible air-pressure drop problem for his guide dog. Maybe overall slightly longer but Edinburgh is one change from Stevenage to save going in to London – and some scenery to enjoy too (and no, I don’t work for East Coast trains!).
JOHN DAVIS Fairmead Avenue, Harpenden
I have just read the article in the Herts. Advertiser regarding Cllr Crawley’s weigh reduction. While weigh is a personal matter and people should not be judged on weigh or size, although we do, I am impressed by her achievement.
Comfort eating is recognised but not often spoken off. I believe by telling her story others will be encouraged to achieve personal goals.
GORDON JACKSON Eskdale, London Colney
Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, is making quite a mark with his reasoned and thoughtful contributions to the debate on Brexit.
He is very much on the ‘Leave’ side, which I find rather surprising because as far as one can tell, his constituents voted ‘Remain’. (His constituency overlaps St Albans and North Herts, where 62 per cent and 54 per cent respectively voted ‘Remain’.)
In correspondence with him on this he has argued that he is a ‘representative’ of his constituents, and not a ‘delegate’, and that in his view the referendum result overrides their choice in this matter.
My view is that if the government allows, (or is forced), to hold, a parliamentary vote on the triggering of Article 50, then he should vote in a way that reflects the opinions of his constituents. Can I urge anyone who agrees with this view to contact him through his excellent website?
ADRIAN COSKER Hampden Road, Hitchin