New rail link could trigger compensation

FAMILIES living alongside the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line could claim compensation if dualling the track affects their lives - but not until a year after the project is done.

FAMILIES living alongside the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line could claim compensation if dualling the track affects their lives - but not until a year after the project is done.

Port officials say some residents could be entitled to help if property prices take a tumble because of extra noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke and artificial lighting.

But the line - due to be in operation by 2009 - will have to be up and running a year first so that the effects can be monitored and assessed.

Leaflets outlining the compensation issue have been sent to hundreds of homes in the twin Trimley villages. The matter is also part of documents submitted to government for the £46.6 million dualling project.

While most people will have to wait a year to see if they can get help, those whose homes are affected by land nearby being taken for use in the scheme could apply sooner.

“One of the concerns of residents was that the scheme would have an adverse impact on property values,” said the port letter.

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“There is statutory provision made for compensation in certain circumstances.

“The existing railway line is already in operation and it is the incremental impact of the proposed works that is to be considered.”

Officials concede compensation is complex - and many residents will probably need legal advice to pursue their claims.

Consultants accept there will be some changes to the environment because of the four-and-a-half miles of double track, which will enable the port to gradually double the number of freight trains in and out each day by 2023.

But they are confident there will be benefits, with less hooting of trains because of the removal of two crossings, improvements to vibration problems through changes to the track, less lorries on the A14 and removal of standing trains which pump out fumes and noise on the port line.

Residents have until February 3 to make their views known - whether they object, support or simply want to comment on aspects of the project - on the dualling to transport secretary Alistair Darling, c/o TWA Orders Unit, Zone 9/09, Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6DT.

WEBLINKS: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

www.trimley-st-mary.org.uk

www.trimley-st-martin.org.uk

Will the dualling project it affect your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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