Postponed by Department of Transport

The Airtrack website announces that Department of Transport has postponed the inquiry again. So there is even less excuse for Surrey CC to take the decision to withdraw their objection now. Once they’ve withdrawn it is probably irrevocable. Please write asking them not to

On 30 November the Cabinet of Surrey County Council (SCC) will meet and decide whether they want to withdraw the objection to Airtrack.

SCC have been negotiating with BAA what they describe as “a package of measures” which will not address the main objection to Airtrack, but will make it financially beneficial to withdraw the objection.

Although a feasibility study has demonstrated that a tunnel is technically feasible under the railway line at Vicarage Road, to replace Pooley Green level crossing, Surrey County Council’s Highways Department has said that it will not alleviate congestion in Egham because their (selective and incomplete) traffic modelling report appears to show that traffic from outside the area will be attracted if a tunnel is built.

SCC Highways have therefore been negotiating with BAA a deal where, for £ 11million, SPECIFICALLY NOT TO BE SPENT ON A TUNNEL, they will withdraw the objection, saving BAA from a proper public examination of the disaster that will engulf Egham.

The TWA rules allow negotiation to find solutions to problems that a project might cause. In the case of Airtrack the payments offered by BAA solve SCC’s 5-year-old problem of how to pay for work that is needed at the Runnymede Roundabout, which are not caused by Airtrack.

Surrey Highways call the package “A Good Deal for Surrey”. It is certainly a good deal for Surrey County Council and their Highways budget, but not a good deal for the people of Surrey, and a disaster for the people of Egham.

We need to persuade SCC that they are not acting in the best interests of Egham in withdrawing the objection.