When Central Bedfordshire Council approved the Luton North Framework Plan it provided documents supporting the planned Sundon Rail-freight Interchange. One document contains Network Rail’s response to the Council’s Development Strategy consultation (here Network Rail on the CBC’s Development Strategy) and two letters one from Network Rail to Prologis (here Network Rail to Prologis) and the other from Network Rail to Network Rail (here Network Rail to Network Rail).

These documents are of insufficient importance to be used to justify going ahead with the Sundon RFI. As they contain no evidence that a proper study of the viability of the RFI has been undertaken or of the feasibility of connecting the planned warehousing to the railway. A letter I received today from Network Rail (here Response to FOI2015 00271) confirms that a feasibility study of the RFI project has not been done.

I am concerned because the Council has approved the North Luton Framework plan based on insufficient evidence of the viability of the Sundon RFI. These circumstances coupled with the timescales for including a feasible railway connection project into Network Rail’s future Enhancements Delivery Plans and the project’s execution mean it is unlikely the Sudon RFI will be completed within the timescale set out in the Council’s Development Strategy.