Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange

Received 11 July 2018
From Nick Blake


I object to the proposed development of Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange
Planning Inspectorate Reference: TR050006 (NGRFI) on the following grounds.

There are estimated (Roxhill figures) to be 16,500 additional site-generated vehicle movements every 24 hrs, with over 4300 HGVs and these figures are undoubtedly under estimating the full potential of the site. Mezzanine floors and high density storage would massively increase the number of vehicle movements both for workers and goods transport. Inevitably parking will have been under estimated in this case and therefore off site but on road parking would be inevitable as can be seen in many similar developments.
It is evidenced at other Rail Freight Terminals that rail freight is only ever a small proportion of the transport method used and road transport is the predominant means of goods movement.

Junction 15 congestion is already causing significant delays during peak times and 60,000 vehicles from other planned developments are forecast to use A45/J15 interchange by 2026 without Northampton Gateway. Since the A508 is a designated diversion route when the M1 is blocked this would create unacceptable delays and congestion should this project proceed.

From recent roadworks around Brackley & Towcester on the A43 and the A5/A508 roundabout at Stoney Stratford the forecast traffic volumes have been woefully under estimated. The proposed NGRFI has made similar errors in traffic movement and volumes.

Current shortage of logistics workers locally means increased commuter vehicle journeys negating any overall benefit rail transport may have brought.

With the current "rail bottleneck" at Ely significantly more freight cannot be transported by rail from Felixstowe Docks meaning the only means to utilise the warehousing space at NGRFI is by additional Truck movements.

There are only a very small number of rail sidings planned for NGRFI compared to the proposed number of trains and Truck loading bays. In addition it is not apparent form the consultation how trains will be unloaded, confirming the belief that NGRFI is little more than another speculative warehousing development using Rail as the excuse to make it more palatable from an environmental perspective.

Civil engineering works have already commenced further north at DIRFT, 18 miles away on the same loop line with capacity to at least 2031 and in a more strategic area, which the developer has failed to investigate . This is on the disused Telecommunications site which was not prime agricultural land as the NGRFI would be. There cannot, therefore be a need for both developments and there is not sufficient rail capacity to serve both. It is questioned if the NGRFI would ever build or use a rail interchange since the one at DIRFT already exists.

An inevitable increase in localised pollution as the majority of traffic forecast to use the M1 and A45, both Air Quality Management Areas, leading to increased risks to health.

There would be a permanent loss of 520 acres of productive arable farm land with loss of wild life corridors and habitat, together with the degradation of footpaths and bridleway