A newly formed campaign group has warned of 'traffic chaos' should a proposed rail freight terminal be constructed on Green Belt land.

Following a public meeting on Sunday, January 8, 'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' was created to oppose the proposed construction.


The rail freight terminal would be located on the former Radlett Airfield site, near Park Street.

Hertfordshire County Council has already agreed to sell the land, but the campaign group has now called on the authority to publish all legal advice surrounding the sale.

A statement released by the group read: "Save St Albans: Fight the Freight was formed after a public meeting to update residents about the site attracted around 300 people.

"The group claims that if the site goes ahead there will be a massive increase in traffic around St Albans, London Colney and Radlett with up to 202 lorries an hour accessing the site.

"That could lead to an extra 2,000 lorries on local roads during the day, with more lorries arriving and departing at night.

"With poor local transport links, workers at the site will also be travelling by car with an additional 2,000 cars every day adding to the congestion."

One of the campaign's leaders, Cllr Nuala Webb, added: "So much time has passed since the original planning application in 2006 and Government approval in 2014.

"The data and forecasts used to help frame that decision are at least nine years out of date, with many of (rail freight developer) Segro’s forecast even more outdated.

“We need new reports to look at the impact now and for the future.

“Herts County Council say they are reluctant sellers but, in the interest of transparency, they need to publish all the legal advice they’ve received surrounding this sale before any deal goes through.

"Our understanding is that they are under no obligation to sell the land.

"The current Secretary of State, Michael Gove, has said it is a matter for Herts County Council and that he will not intervene if they refuse to sell.”

The campaign group also voiced fears over the location becoming a "lorry-to-lorry distribution centre" instead of a rail freight terminal.

Cllr Webb continued: "Every other UK freight terminal has direct access to a motorway, but this site has no direct access to either the M25 or M1, meaning all vehicles in and out will be adding to local congestion.”

Lastly, Cllr Webb called on Hertfordshire County Council to take action: “The council has a duty to the people it represents and should ask searching questions about whether there is any longer the need for a rail freight terminal on this valuable area of Green Belt land.

“Herts County Council have the capability to stop this freight terminal by refusing to sell the land. It’s in their hands and they should act on behalf of the people they represent and reject any sale to the developers.”