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Network Rail still cannot provide answers on railfreight, says Anne Main MP

 Published on: 18th July 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Followings months of wrangling over the scheduling timetable, Anne Main MP met Network Rail (NR) in Westminster to discuss her ‘grave’ concerns about the proposed Radlett railfreight terminal. The high-level meeting involved NR representatives directly accountable for the delivery of freight and passenger services across the network. ‘Network Rail were at pains to stress that they were obliged to prioritise passenger services, which the minister previously confirmed to me. Whilst I’m content with the stated obligations that commuters are prioritised, I still have grave concerns over the viability of railfreight. ‘The ability of NR to deliver the necessary upgrades that would be needed for a strategic rail freight interchange [SRFI] with minimal disruption is still highly questionable. Whilst Network Rail continually sought to reassure me that the SRFI timetable would work in tandem with passenger services, we’re still a long way from firm answers on infrastructure upgrades and connectivity,’ said Mrs Main. Questions were raised by the St Albans MP about night access and her concerns over SRFI becoming a ‘lorry park in the green belt’. Anne said that ‘It was never intended that SRFI would be used at night, and I’m very unhappy about any attempts to use the freight terminal in this way. ‘Local residents who have long opposed the development want to know how and when SRFI will work. Commuters want to know if their daily commute is going to be interrupted. We need to get closer to these answers in order that Network Rail can provide any real and substantial assurances. ‘I still have real concerns about railfreight. Oliver Dowden and I will be writing to the Department for Transport on the works to ensure that there is proper oversight on the upgrades and to protect passenger services.’

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