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Stop the Gailey Freight Hub



WHAT IS A FREIGHT HUB / INTERCHANGE / TERMINAL ?


  

A Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI ) is a type of freight hub with railway connection.
A freight hub or transport hub being a warehouse or, in this case, a group of huge warehouses for transfer and storage of goods and materials.
Interchange or Intermodal refers to being able to change from road to rail and vice versa - normally using shipping type containers.

The "Strategic" term is a sad anomaly in the town planning system that allows large freight facilities with rail connections to be elevated to the importance of nuclear power stations, ports and airports ....... and bypass the local planning system.

Whereas the other strategic facilities are subject to extreme national scrutiny - freight hubs have been left to market forces. In the hands of private investors, the siting of these leviathons can be anywhere there is a closeness of motorway or major road with a railway. Some positions obviously have more merit than others - but all are an opportunity to put buildings on green belt and green field land - that local planners can't stop.
Such strategic proposals go straight to the Secretary of State and his Planning Inspectorate in London for the final decision.

The Government is keen to increase rail freight usage and reduce HGV traffic for a number of reasons, including reducing environmental carbon footprint.
In isolation, that environmental reason may appear beneficial on a national or global basis. However, the poor siting of a large hub can be environmentally disastrous due to the extreme increase in local traffic causing pollution in addition to the loss of land and wildlife.
The lack of a national plan and the random siting -  often based on the availability of land, makes many such projects either huge white elephants or double disasters to local road networks and nearby population - benefiting only the landowner.

It is necessary to ask whether the proposers are acting for the good of the country or just for profit
 
There are literally dozens of these SRFIs being proposed all over the country - it is flavour of the month for long term investment money. Many such projects compete with each other for permission or trade.

A nearby example of a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange is at Daventry near Rugby - in place of the landmark radio & TV transmitters. Now known as Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal or DIRFT - google it.
This huge development, once it gained permission, immediately applied to extend itself with phase 2 ....and is just now ripping up still more fields as it expands to its third phase.

  DIRFT II


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