Give St Albans rail freight site back to the people, say MPs

Put the Brakes on Freight - Herts Advertiser campaign

Put the Brakes on Freight - Herts Advertiser campaign - Credit: Archant

Return the rail freight site to the people of Herts is the message from two local MPs in a letter which has gone out to every county councillor.

Anne Main and Oliver Dowden, MPs for St Albans and Hertsmere respectively, have reminded county councillors that under the historic mineral agreement which followed the extraction of aggregates from Radlett Airfield by Lafarge Redland, the site was destined to be returned to the people of Herts.

As a result they believe that if the site is developed, ‘it should be with a scheme that would benefit, enhance and deliver for the people of Hertfordshire.”

And they argue that the rail freight scheme ‘fulfils none of these obligations’.

The MPs also reiterate concerns about the huge number of extra vehicles that would be generated by a rail freight scheme and the impact on the attractiveness of Herts, the lack of confirmation from Network Rail that freight paths would be available when the terminal opens and the disruption of passenger services.

In addition, they argue that with the opening of the London Gateway container port, the business case for a freight terminal on Radlett Airfield is less attractive.

Calling again for the decision on the sale of land at the former airfield to Helioslough to be taken by the full county council and not the cabinet alone, they describe the fact that two separate petitions opposing the scheme have amassed more than 10,000 signatures as ‘a significant demonstration of public opinion’.