Rail Central (Strategic 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.

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Rail Central (Strategic Rail Freight Interchange)

Received 29 November 2018
From Anthony Marsh


From Anthony Marsh about TR050004?

The foundation of any SRFI is, of course, both rail and road access. However, concern is raised here over an adequate provision for access to the local road network. This because the trunk road A43 and the junction between A43 and the motorway M1 is presently carrying heavy traffic, not just at the oft-quoted peak periods which in this case are not restricted to one hour.

By 2021 or 2031 the traffic is expected to increase by 25% or 34% respectively and these are figures used by the transport analysts, TPA, who are providing an assessment of challenges that this project will present to the local road network. TPA’s analysis totally omits any traffic pulse from the movement of shift workers; they include only “9 - 5” staff and conclude that a sufficient modelling of the pressure on nearby public roads needs to consider only movements at public peak times (0800 - 0900 and 1700 - 1800hrs).

Here my objection to the Rail Central proposal is based on their presentation being flawed, mainly in the omission of shift worker movements. In addition, and importantly, there is a concern is that if the project is granted then there will be severe road congestion experienced by local traffic. Concomitantly, as TPA advise, traffic will spill out at times of high congestion stress into local roads, lanes and some nearby villages. This would considerably inconvenience (and distress in some cases) thousands of local residents, including myself, presently enjoying a village based country life.

The assertion that in assessing traffic problems one needs only to concentrate on ‘the general peak times’ is said by TPA to be one that is accepted by the NCC and HE. This promotion of such narrow view appears to give credence to TPA’s analysis, exhibiting that concentration, and tends to suggest that local problems may persist only for one hour at each peak. I will directly contradict this implied scenario.

I propose to analyse their consultant’s (TPA’s) data and demonstrate my concern in some numerical detail. The detail I offer is presented to combat the rather natural assumption by examiners that the proposer’s own consultants would “know best”. However there is obviously a sly veneer that aims to obfuscate.

The mitigation proposed for the M1J15a is included in this NSIP. However, if it is deemed to warrant a separate NSIP proposal then its cumulative impact would be of key importance and essential to the assessment of this NSIP; ie; an NSIP concerned with the M1J15a should be neither logically nor temporally decoupled from the Rail Central NSIP.

The M1 junction mitigation that has so far been proposed is clearly inadequate in preventing congestion in peak periods, ie. both general peaks and shift-change peaks. I argue that A43 conditions would clearly amount to being unusable and that the scheme would be an abominable overcast for the village of Blisworth.

I formally object to Ashfield Land’s application because (a) it is very likely to generate impatient traffic coursing through Blisworth and other villages, (b) the manipulation of data in the presentations renders it dishonest and (c) it obscures a real congestion problem for the A43 highway on at least 6 separate occasions.