Park Street rail freight latest update

Computer-generated image of the proposed rail freight terminal in Park Street

Computer-generated image of the proposed rail freight terminal in Park Street - Credit: Archant

The fine imposed on Network Rail by the ORR has prompted St Albans MP Anne Main to call on the Government to re-examine the company’s analysis of rail freight proposals for Park Street.

She pointed to the fact that Network Rail was criticised by the ORR for failing to liaise properly with operators and to understand the extent of the disruption to commuter services, primarily at London Bridge Station.

She said the penalty once again raised concerns about the complete lack of information provided by Network Rail about the rail freight plan for the former Radlett Airfield in Park Street in terms of costings, upgrading work to the line, access points and the impact on commuter services.

Mrs Main went on: “This penalty further reinforces my view that Network Rail have not given full consideration to enormous negative impact that this will have on passenger services.”

She said good access to the rail network would be needed to get freight off the road if the Helioslough scheme went ahead in Park Street and she did not believe that would be the case.

She added: “This latest development reinforces my fears, given we have had no real assurances from Network Rail and only vague generalisations regarding costing and further details such as access works and disruption.

“The findings of the Office of Rail and Road highlight the issues Oliver Dowden MP and I have been raising and i have written to the Government calling on them to look at this flawed project in light of the recent ruling.”

* Local residents who have not got access to a computer to sign a petition calling on the county council not to sell their land on Radlett Airfield to Helioslough for a rail freight depot should be able to visit a St Albans market stall next month.

The petition, which requires 10,000 signatures to trigger a public debate on the issue, is edging towards 7,000 signatures with more than one month to go.

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Cathy Bolshaw of pressure group STRiFE - Stop the Rail Freight Exchange - said that a stall on St Albans market would help to highlight the issues surrounding the scheme as well as give those with no access to a computer an opportunity to sign it.

No date has yet been fixed but will be publicised in the Herts Advertiser when it is.

In the meantime the petition can be found under e-petitions on the county council website or click here.