Saturday, 29 December 2012

Well done to the Hendon Times (only 14 months too late)

I was intrigued to see a whole load of hits on a story this blog ran 14 months ago - - as a result of google searches on Radlett Rail Freight terminal. It seems that sneaky old Eric Pickles decided to bury some bad news and give the go ahead for a massive increase in the number of overnight freight trains travelling on the Midland main Line through Mill Hill and Hendon in the middle of the night. These trains will carry up to 2,000 tons of freight, causing considerable disruption to local residents and adversely affecting property values.

Fourteen months after my original blog, the hendon Times actually decided to mention the story, in it's paper edition this week. Sadly the Hendon Times article this week doesn't mention the details or the effect on local people. It appears that no one at the paper bothered to read the impact assessment (or even my old blog on the subject). I believe that this is the sort of story local press should cover in detail.

I asked in September 2011 what our local MP Matthew Offord has done to mitigate the effects on his constituents. It seems that the answer is "not very much". If like me, your house backs onto the Midland main line, you will already know what effect rail freight has. A near doubling of the amount travelling through during the night is a big issue for hundreds of people in Barnet. Sadly I suspect the first many people will know about it is when they start getting woken up ten times a night by these monster trains rumbling through.


baarnett said...

Reading the background, it seems that John Prescott's Strategic Rail Authority thought it would be a good idea to have three or four new railway depots around London, for train deliveries that would then be completed into London by road.

The trains may only run from Felixstowe, rather than through Mill Hill. In that case, it will be lorry traffic on the M1 that would disturb Roger's sleep, not trains.

On the other hand, there is a rival container port being built on the Thames near Tilbury somewhere. That might load up trains that travelled through Mill Hill to Radlett. But it looks unlikely, since the lorries could be loaded at Tilbury, and use the M25 and then M1.

The Mill Hill line apparently cannot take the biggest containers anyway, because they would hit the bridges, and it might not be worth enlarging them all.

baarnett said...

Forget much of the last comment. The depot may only connect to the main line in the Mill Hill direction.

And trains could arrive from the Channel Tunnel, from Felixstowe via Kentish Town, and from Southampton via Acton.

Rog T said...

Yes I read the proposal. I am in favour of increasing rail freight but this doesnt seem to me to be a great proposal and will also lead to massive numbers of lorrys. These sort of depots should be part of a wider transport strategy. Thos is just being plonked in Radlett because it is an easy site to develop