BSCF's Objections to BAA's Rail Access Consultation

Letter to the British Airports Authority

BAA Stansted
Freepost CL4055
26 July 2007


I am writing on behalf of the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation in response to your June 2007 consultation on this subject. I should emphasise at the outset that the following comments are without prejudice to our views on building a second runway at Stansted, a proposal to which we remain firmly opposed. Indeed, the shortcomings in this strategy add weight to our opposition to a second runway.

Our response to your surface access consultation highlighted a number of shortcomings in the rail access elements of that document. The shortcomings are equally applicable to the more detailed proposals in this document.

We are familiar with and wholeheartedly endorse the detailed criticisms made by Stop Stansted Expansion in their detailed critique of your document. I do not therefore need to repeat them here.

There is however a matter of particular concern to Bishop’s Stortford residents – namely the proposal that at some future date the stops which Stansted Express trains make there should be removed and be substituted by other, presumably slower trains. We object to the suggestion that there should be any reduction in the quality of existing services, which is a matter not just of frequency but journey times and find this suggestion unacceptable.

I note that in the Government’s recently published White Paper on rail services it says in para 8.9 that 'new dedicated airport services on congested routes are unlikely'. Your proposals appear to conflict with that policy as well as with the improvement options outlined in Network Rail’s Route Utilisation Strategy for the line.

We suggest that you withdraw this consultation document and replace it with one which is consistent with the polices of the agencies who will lead the enhancement of this route and the funding that is likely to be available to achieve such enhancements.