Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, is writing to the Transport Secretary to urge the Strategic Rail Authority to press ahead with plans to improve rail services between Hitchin and Harpenden and London. This follows the Government?s announcement last week that final approval of Thameslink 2000 will be deferred until planning and conservation issues in central London are resolved.

    Peter Lilley said:

    “I am writing to Alistair Darling and the Strategic Rail Authority urging them not to use environmental issues south of the River Thames as an excuse to postpone investment throughout the Thameslink rail network. It is urgent to press ahead with vital improvements to the lines between Hitchin and Harpenden and central London.

    “Easing the congestion on these busy routes must be a priority ? even if other parts of the Thameslink 2000 project are delayed. This includes lengthening platforms and trains between Harpenden and Kings Cross Thameslink and between Hitchin and Kings Cross on the Great Northern route.

    “Following news earlier this summer that other high profile projects in the Strategic Rail Authority?s Ten Year Plan are to be either quietly downgraded or abandoned, last week?s announcement appears to have shortened the Plan?s lifespan from ten years to only five months.?