Fresh opposition to Hinckley rail terminal proposals in Leicestershire
Objectors have once again raised concerns about a proposed rail freight terminal in the county of Leicester, in the heart of England. The proposal, at Hinckley, has already been identified as a nationally important development, but the order which will finally permit building, has yet to pass through parliamentary procedure. There is still time, say those opposed to the logistics hub, for the government to think again.
Although designated a rail freight hub, the proposed logistics park near the village of Hinckley in Leicestershire will be a huge collection of logistics warehousing. It is this aspect of the project that is the focus of objection. Given the size of the project, and the ‘green-field’ site, the terminal has attracted more attention than others. The developers however remain on track to submit their application next year.
Raised in parliament
Local opposition to the plan has been organised for several years. Ever since the plan was first proposed in 2018, there have been voices raised. A recent wave of renewed lobby has seen two local members of parliament raise the project with the new transport secretary, Mark Harper.
South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa, and Luke Evans, his political and parliamentary colleague for the neighbouring constituency of Hinckley and Bosworth, have both had talks with the recently appointed transport secretary Mark Harper, outlining local concerns about the 440-acre (180 hectare) site. Tritax Symmetry, the promoters of the project, say they want to spend 550 million pounds (around 607 million euro) on the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange. It’s reported that the terminal would be able to handle sixteen intermodal trains a day. However, although road access will be part of the initial plan, there is some ambiguity over how soon the rail element would be built.
Integrate with the existing freight railways
The UK government designates some developments as Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges, specifically where freight transfers between the road and rail network. Tritax Symmetry say their proposals for Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange would integrate with the existing Nuneaton to Felixstowe railway line and connect to the road network via junction 2 of the M69.
The site is located in what the UK logistics industry regards as the ‘Golden Triangle’ for distribution. According to figures from the promoter, the East Midlands, where the sit is located, is already home to a fifth of the UK’s manufacturing capability. They say forty-five per cent of British rail freight already passes through the Midlands. Whether any of that trumps the objections is, even after six years on the drawing board, still a card to be played.
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