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 18 July 2018
From Mark Smith

Representation

The proposed rail freight interchange will have a huge detrimental impacts upon the towns and roads of Northampton both from an environmental and quality of life perspective.

Currently the M1 between Junctions 16 and 15 is subject to significant queues during peak times, with traffic spilling over to the surrounding roads with resulting congestion and pollution. Junctions 15 and 15A of the M1 are already incredibly busy with traffic frequently queuing back onto the M1 at times when the junctions cannot handle the volume of traffic. Adding a significant number of HGV’s to this, plus the vehicles of people working at the rail freight interchange, would exacerbate this situation resulting in more frequent and longer queues, increased pollution, and increased number of working hours “lost” while queuing in traffic and decreasing the overall effectiveness of the local economy.

A large volume of houses in South and West Northampton are situated a close to major roads such as the A45, A5076, A5123, A43 and A508 which are frequently effected by M1 congestion and by traffic traveling to and from the M1. These homes will bear the brunt of the increased volume of traffic directly related to the proposed rail freight interchange, both HGV traffic and also workers at the facility. The additional vehicles will result in increased pressure on roads and junctions some miles from the rail freight interchange, further queues in these areas, lost time for residents and also environmental pollution caused by additional vehicles and by vehicles sat in stationary or slow moving traffic. Pressure on the A roads will inevitably result in smaller local road being used a rat runs, with further pollution impacts and also road safety concerns for families and children in these areas.

HGVs travelling to and from the proposed rail freight interchange will be required to park up in areas close to the facility, either due to driving hours limitations or to ensure they reach the facility at the required time slot. This is sadly already evident around South and West Northampton (the very areas which will be impacted by this proposal) due to the large number of warehouses and distribution facilities in the area. Lay bys, roadside verges and side roads will become swamped by HGVs with miles of parked HGV’s becoming a common sight in the area, similar to areas around the Daventry rail freight terminal, impacting the area and local communities.

In summary, the area surrounding the proposed rail freight interchange is unable to accommodate the additional vehicles and traffic which will result from the development. The wishes and quality of life of the residents within the South and West Northampton area need to be fully considered as part of the application process, not just those economic objectives outlined by the proposed developer.