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 22 July 2018
From Jane Ward


I object to Northampton Gateway for the following reasons:

1. No strategic need/capacity - DiRFT is only 18 miles from the proposed site. Industry experts do not believe a Rail Interchange is required in this area. NCC Highways Authority has highlighted potential negative impact on rail passenger services, due to increased freight services, and negative impact on west coast mainline (busiest in Europe).

2. Road Capacity - National Planning Statement on National Networks 2014 states “…proposed new rail freight interchanges should have good road access as this will allow rail to effectively compete with, and work alongside, road freight to achieve a modal shift to rail”. DiRFT has multiple access/exit routes to strategic and primary road networks, Roxhill's plans do not. 16500 extra vehicles will have a significant impact within the immediate area - DfT has warned of forecast severe congestion at M1 J15 by 2040 (this forecast does not include Roxhill’s 16500 vehicles); consequently, Roxhill’s planned improvements to Jct 15 have been judged not to add to overall capacity. Additionally, the M1 will experience significant disruption during 4-years of SMART motorway upgrade.

3. Impact on local infrastructure and safety. Local villages already experience rat-running due to congestion on M1/A43/A5 with HGVs ignoring advice not to follow sat navs or roads with weight limitations, resulting in damage to local bridges, buildings and road surfaces. Due to the already high volume of traffic on the A43, local traffic (including school buses) experience hazardous conditions when joining/crossing the A43. These risks will be exacerbated by an increase in HGV traffic in the wider area.

4. Safety in Design - unlike DIRFT which has multiple site and road access, the Roxhill site is a single entry/exit site onto the A508. There are no other suitable or proposed entry/exit points around the site perimeter - this is a significant safety concern in the event of a major incident necessitating both evacuation of Site personnel/ vehicles and free-flowing access to the Site for emergency vehicles.

5. Employment - the area does not have the resources to serve this development. Labour would need to be transported in and/or additional infrastructure required, all of which would add to each part of this objection.

6. Loss of wildlife habitat and farmland. Significant impact on the natural beauty of this rural landscape and the tranquility of the many public rights of way enjoyed by local/visiting walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The site, with its vast amounts of concrete and the requirement for additional physical highways works on the M1, A43, A45, A508 and other local roads, will inevitably cause irreversible damage to the local environment, birds and other wildlife, including protected species.

7. Adverse effect on living conditions due to noise, light, air pollution and crime increase. The rights of people to enjoy their homes/health will be undermined due to the visual impact, very high noise levels and various forms of environmental pollution 24 hours/day. The areas around DIRFT have experienced 176% increase in crime since 2000/01.