Over 1200 against, one or two for - it can only be one thing

Those were the letters sent to St Albans District Council in connection with Helioslough's second application to build the freight terminal. Tonight's meeting of the St Albans Planning Referrals Committee duly threw the application out No real surprise there. The big new news is the opposition of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) to the proposal. They have produced a devastating analysis to show how it is virtually impossible to combine the increased demand for passenger train slots following the completion of the Thameslink 2000 upgrade and the paths required for slow moving extra long freight trains entering and exiting the proposed freight terminal.

It makes it almost impossible to see how Helioslough could achieve their claimed 50:50 modal split between rail and road. It really is nothing more than a glorified road terminal with some sidings attached. The council made the right decision tonight. The whole thing will go to appeal with yet more expense on lawyers and experts. At the end I hope we will have put a stake through the heart of this wretched proposal.

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