§ Ms. Hodge
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a detailed statement on the future use of Ripple lane sidings and freight terminal both in terms of existing networks serving the channel tunnel and in respect of the proposed channel tunnel rail link; if he will make it his policy that no intermodal freight facilities will be located in the Barking areas; and if he will conduct a study of the traffic congestion, noise and pollution already experienced in the area.
§ Mr. Watts
It is the Government's intention to encourage freight to use rail haulage for as much of its journey as possible. We are concerned about the potential problems which would result from railheading intermodal freight in east London. Therefore, we shall not authorise works which would allow large-gauge intermodal traffic to transfer to road here, unless there is infrastructure in place to allow such traffic to travel beyond the London area by rail. It is a commercial matter for the railway operators involved what use to make of the existing facility at Ripple lane.
Through its work on developing the A13 improvement schemes, my Department fully appreciates traffic conditions in the area. The full environmental effects of the major improvement scheme at the Movers lane junction have already been studied, including noise, air and water quality, landscape and natural habitats. The environmental impact of the schemes east of Heathway were studied in a similar manner. No additional studies are planned.