Network Rail must answer to commuters on SRFI, says Anne Main MP

Anne Main MP has written to Network Rail yet again to blast the ‘vague assurances’ they have given for the deliverability of the Radlett Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI). In light of the on-going rail chaos to passenger services Mrs Main has questioned any assurances given by Network Rail and has asked for ‘detailed proposals’ to be given by the rail company.

In her letter to CEO Mark Carne, Mrs Main said ‘I have yet to receive any detailed proposals for how [the SRFI is deliverable without impacting passenger services]. Crucially, this includes a complete lack of detail on the proposed infrastructure upgrades that would be required…. [and how this] would impact on passenger services.’

The St Albans MP also said that she ‘opposes this site and [is] horrified that we would press ahead with it based on the lack of detailed information given by Network Rail.’

In the hard-hitting letter Mrs Main used the example of the current problems for passenger services from St Albans saying, ‘I believe that the vague assurances given by Network Rail at the time which helped deliver credibility for the planning permission for the SRFI should now not be relied upon…The calamitous delivery of the May timetable change shows that Network Rail’s assurances cannot be relied upon.’

The letter also called for detail on how the additional freight trains could be added onto the already busy passenger line without disruption and how any infrastructure work to accommodate the additional freight trains would not impact on commuter services between St Albans and London.

Mrs Main said, ‘If there is one thing we have learned from the rail chaos at the moment, it is that Network Rail have once again proved themselves incapable of delivering on their assurances. Commuters up and down the line will be majorly impacted by a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange and we have been given no detail whatsoever by Network Rail.

To carry on with this proposal without any guarantees from Network Rail is crazy. I sincerely hope we will see much needed housing built on this site.’