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Logistics students against Northants rail freight terminal plan

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A scheme which would sacrifice farmland for a major rail freight terminal has been questioned by students from the University of Northampton.

The proposals, which are to be examined by the Planning Inspectorate, are for a rail depot the size of 100 football pitches (250 hectares) to be built between south Northamptonshire villages Milton Malsor and Blisworth.

Logistics students from the University have carried out a study into recent developments in the rail freight market. The study concluded that the Rail Central proposals – which are opposed by many local residents – were premature, and better sites existed for such a facility.

The group,including undergraduates and postgraduates, recently went to Westminster, where they presented their results to Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire.

The study was supervised by Andrew Gough, Associate Professor of Logistics at the University’s Northampton Business School, who said: “Whilst no-one doubts that we need to encourage freight to move from road to rail, the lack of capacity on our railways to carry increased freight restricts the number of viable locations for suitable interchanges.

“The recent decision to expand the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) is to be welcomed, and will provide much-needed capability for the next decade at least.

“We will watch with interest to see if the Planning Inspectorate sees the need for a second facility less than 20 miles from Daventry.”