Rail freight resistance in seething St Albans
Aerial image of a rail freight terminal as imagined by SegroSEGRO
If Segro, the proposed developers of a redundant airfield, thought their plans to build a rail freight terminal were in the bag, they may have to think again. Despite a string of administrative and legal decisions in their favour, there is still significant local objection to the plan. Residents of the nearest community have formed a new body with the unequivocal title of “Save St Albans: Fight the Freight”. The site is about twenty-five miles (40km) north of London.
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There is a lot about this that raises questions. On rail, midlands main line has a long way to go before it handles freight, particularly HC containers, the planned rail connection with the site constitutes only a SB connection and that too with a loop, which will severely hinder trains rejoining. On the road, there is no motorway connection, there will be an additional 12000 to 15000 vehicles on a small stretch of A414, compared to 34000 vehicles per day on the entire A414.
Council are selling land despite Highways Agency confirming that 5 years or more ago the A414 was at 98% capacity so it’s going to bring gridlock when this comes in. No new roads are being built. Eric Pickles (now in Lords!!) approved this despite every agency being against it (so have to wonder if he was paid to) AND despite Luton wanting this development AND having connections to a major motorway (M1). Something VERY corrupt happening here and now the Council are ENABLING it!?!?