The research, undertaken by independent transport consultants MTRU, found that rather than reducing the number of lorries needed, all previous increases in vehicle dimensions did nothing to halt heavier, larger lorries doing more mileage and driving around with ever lower load efficiency. Report here (pdf).
ODPM has blocked a new office development at Olney in Northamptonshire which would have obliterated the track bed.
This shows at para 14 the Sec of State agreeing with the Inspector that while the rail proposals are too uncertain to apply the normal planning protection policy, nevertheless he wishes to see the route protected and (were permission to be granted) a condition to preserve the trackbed would be imposed.
Extract from the ODPM formal decision letter showing key clause 14.
Copies of the full ODPM letter dated 17 February 2004 attached.
Freight on Rail welcomes the recent decision by the Planning Inspectorate, part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, to safeguard railway land for future rail-served development at Theale in Berkshire. West Berkshire Council was able to protect this land for possible potential future rail use because it had allocated the land as an extension of the rail served lands in its Local Plan. The Inspectorate rejected an appeal by Beftonforth Ltd to erect a 15,000 sq. m. telehouse on land in Theale.
This decision follows on from the precedent set by the case of Mansard County Homes Ltd v Surrey Heath Council in 2002. See press release 20 December 2004 for more details.