�55m Hitchin Rail plan gathers steam

PLANS to create a �55m flyover to ease one of the worst rail bottlenecks in the country moved closer this week as the councils involved broadly approved the scheme. Both North Herts District Council and Herts County Council have backed much of the detai

PLANS to create a �55m flyover to ease one of the worst rail bottlenecks in the country moved closer this week as the councils involved broadly approved the scheme.

Both North Herts District Council and Herts County Council have backed much of the detail of Network Rail's plan to build a viaduct to the north of Hitchin station which would take the Cambridge branch line over the East Coast main line.

But although generally welcoming the scheme, both consultees made recommendations to the Department of Transport, which is overseeing the project, highlighting the disturbance to residents in the west of Letchworth GC from heavy goods traffic during construction and the impact on the environment.

District councillors on the planning committee which met on Monday night were concerned that there was not enough justification for using the road system to bring in construction materials and called for the rail network to be investigated as an alternative.


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And councillors at Herts County Council, the authority responsible for highways, said they were looking at the possibility of moving the railway sidings at Hitchin station to allow construction materials to be moved by rail rather than road.

Councillors at NHDC also called for the plan to be adjusted to take into account the possibility of flooding.

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Network Rail hope to have the green light for the project by early 2011 and have trains running on the track by early 2014.

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