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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
300m rail depot scheme unveiled
Site of the planned rail depot at Radlett Aerodrome
The Radlett Aerodrome site is near Park Street and London Colney
A scheme to build a 300m rail freight depot at the site of a former aerodrome could create up to 3,000 jobs.

Helioslough, the developers, is hoping to build the huge interchange on 250 acres of land at Radlett Aerodrome, near Park Street village, St Albans.

The scheme, which has not yet been submitted as a formal planning application, goes on public display on Thursday in St Albans.

A bypass for Park Street will form part of the plan for the old airfield site.

A spokesman for Helioslough told BBC News that once it is fully operation about 3,000 workers will be employed at the site, but due to the 24-hour shifts only 1,000 workers would be there at any one time.

'Roads already congested'

He stressed that environment-friendly travel plans will have to be put in place. For example the use of a worker's coach may be considered to bring staff to the depot.

Local people have expressed concerns that the plan will see 2,652 car parking spaces for employees and 617 lorry parking spaces.

Resident Cathy Bolshaw said it would mean 3,000 more lorries on the surrounding roads - averaging at one a minute night and day.

"These roads are congested at the best of times now, let alone if an accident or whatever happens on the M1 or the M25," she said.

'Plan could reduce traffic'

"It's not just Radlett, it's Park Street, it's Frogmore, it's London Colney, it's St Albans. This will urbanise that whole area which at the moment is greenbelt."

Simon Hoare, of Helioslough, said without the new rail freight depot, Park Street will be suffering 14,000 vehicles per day within the next five years.

"An awful lot of traffic which is using Park Street, doesn't actually need to get to Park Street, it's just using it as a rat run," he said.

"Our studies show that we can reduce traffic on Park Street, and that is congestion and emissions and quality of life and local environment, down to 2,000 vehicles a day, so that's a very substantial cut."

The plans are expected to go before St Albans Council at a later date.

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