RAIL: Writer gives a voice to Network Rail

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I am “Network Rail”. Following the Department For Transport review published in May 2009, I have implemented the plan to increase the capacity of the line from Peterborough to Doncaster to carry more freight trains – 33 or more per day.

I am increasing the capacity to take advantage of the increased demand for freight. Long term I need to accommodate longer and heavier trains, I may need to change the gauge and even electrify the line. I published my plans in 2010. This details all the changes required to achieve my plan.

The South Holland District Council response stated that officers were generally supportive, the main reservation being the down time of level crossings and there would be a significant impact upon traffic management in the centre of Spalding.

Obviously as with roads, repairs and problems will occur requiring me to use diversionary routes, where these are available.

So I am disappointed that the council and the local MP have not realised that with increased rail traffic and future potential for longer, heavier trains there will be more delays to road users in Spalding and sometimes additional traffic will use this line.

The upside could be if I provide a rail hub for container traffic to move the increasing levels of food from the Spalding area, removing the increasing road container traffic on the A16.

Also, long term more passenger trains for the residents of Spalding.

I am responsible for railways not the management of road traffic. The implications of the upgrading and possible further changes have been available since 2010, some FIVE YEARS AGO. I am surprised that there appears to be a lack of understanding, especially since I held local public events and distributed leaflets inviting people to attend.

Mike Harrison

via email