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Reopening rail stations is not a thing of the past

23 November, 2018

• I WAS sorry to see that JE Kirby (It’s too late to take freight off our roads and onto rail, November 16) does not reckon that some of London’s disused railway stations and lines can be brought back into service for heavy goods transport, thereby taking HGVs off roads and protecting pipes, as suggested by Ivor Kenna, (Mains bursts: I blame lorries pounding our streets, November 9).

I am not acquainted with some of the places Mr Kirby has written about, but I do happen to live very near the former Smithfield goods station. The station, which lies right under Smithfield meat market, has not been converted into housing. It has been converted into a car park.

Several railway stations and lines in the vicinity have been reopened. For example, Farringdon and Thameslink. Soon there will be Crossrail’s Elizabeth Line, which is not 100 yards from Smithfield goods station.

Mr Kirby says that water and gas companies should dig up all their cast-iron pipes and replace them with plastic pipes on the off-chance that some heavy goods vehicles might want to run over the top of them.

There is no guarantee that plastic pipes would not buckle and split under overwhelming pressure. Like Mr Kenna, I would like to know what Jeremy Corbyn’s opinion is.

Smokehouse Yard, EC1


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