RAILTRACK COULD face long delays in realising its £17bn investment plan if two sets of protesters are successful in their appeals to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Residents in North London, are protesting against the first work package in the upgrading of the West Coast Main Line. They claim work on the approach to Euston station, which started in September, is not covered by Railtrack's permitted development rights.
Oxford residents are campaigning against the location of a massive ballast dump just 200m from a city park. They claim not to have been told about it until Railtrack had signed contracts.
Both sets of protesters believe the schemes should have gone to a planning inquiry and have succeeded in having the projects referred to Prescott. A decision in their favour could see Railtrack having to gain permission for any new work on railway land.
A Railtrack spokesman claimed it had received legal advice which showed both schemes were allowed under its permitted development rights.
Both groups of residents expect a decision by the end of the month.