Rail Minister sees potential of Thameslink 2 across London
Published on Monday, 26 January 2015 07:33
Michael Lunn, Conservative campaigner;
Maria Caulfield, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate;
Rail Minister Claire Perry MP; Gordon Pratt, Thameslink 2;
and Brian Hart, BML2, at the recent presentation in Lewes.
During a Sussex visit to discuss Brighton Line problems, Rail Minister Claire Perry MP was briefed about the potential of Thameslink 2 which is part of the Brighton Main Line 2 Project.
Secondary route closures since the 1960s had brought capacity crises to the Brighton and Tonbridge mainlines she was told; whilst Network Rail’s insuperable Croydon bottleneck requires a radical solution. The Minister was shown how new cross-lines south of Croydon could allow trains to reach numerous London destinations, giving passengers greater choice and Network Rail much-needed alternatives.
She also saw the opportunities Thameslink 2 could provide to the business sector at Canary Wharf, regeneration programmes and fast-developing growth within eastern London. The proposed Bakerloo Line extension would be an opportunity to include Thameslink 2, massively benefiting the capital.
The Minister and guests were warned that projected demand at Farringdon had been seriously underestimated and a ‘Blackfriars bottleneck’ was already being talked about.
The everyday blocking of London Bridge by Canary Wharf commuters, who had to travel into central London first, must be addressed. Having Blackfriars Thameslink as the only north-south through line in this area was short-sighted and storing-up future chaos.
Sussex Conservative campaigner Michael Lunn welcomed the opportunity for Claire Perry, and Maria Caulfield who is standing in Lewes, “to see the benefits the BML2 scheme would bring to Sussex” and added: “We must also build a new rail connection across East London with Thameslink 2 so that excessive congestion in central London may be avoided.”
Rail Minister Claire Perry listened very attentively, fired questions and requested a copy of the presentation and projected costs.
Meanwhile, Norman Baker apparently encouraged Croydon Lib Dems to yet again help him fight BML2. Activist John Jefkins MBE (who last year presented a petition at Westminster opposing BML2 to Baroness Kramer) roundly criticized Thameslink 2 in a letter to the Sussex Express, claiming it would see “100 homes destroyed”.
This is just as untrue as Norman Baker’s assertion that BML2 within his Lewes constituency would require: “a massive tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause."
Following the Minister’s visit, John Jefkins retorted: “Any politician instead backing BML2’s extra London costs and bypassed market deserves scorn.”
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Osborne urged to start supporting Brighton Main Line 2
Published on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 05:54
The BML – a route at bursting point.
Sussex desperately needs its secondary main line to both Lewes and Brighton restored.
Cllr Geoffrey Theobald OBE, Brighton & Hove City Council Conservative Group Leader has said repeated closures of the Brighton Line shows – "how desperately we need a second direct route between our city and the capital."
He recently met Transport Minister Claire Perry to – "highlight the increasingly strong economic case for BML2" as well as the – "fundamental problems of lack of capacity and lack of a quick and reliable alternative."
Southern's managing director admitted it was – "a tough bit of railway to operate. Capacity and performance are at odds..."
The City's Conservative Leader commented – "If this isn't a plea for a second Brighton to London mainline then I don't know what is."
He said it was – "baffling in the extreme that BML2 is barely even mentioned in Network Rail's draft Sussex Area Route Study" before adding – "longer and more frequent trains are no help when the line is closed."
However, he told the BML2 Project Group "Despite this, I am optimistic that the case for BML2 is gaining traction" mentioning Labour Lord Adonis's comment that it is – "stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed."
Cllr Theobald said another positive development is – "Lewes MP, Norman Baker, one of the most vociferous and influential opponents of BML2 is no longer a Government Minister."
He warned that "unless the nettle is grasped over BML2, Brighton & Hove, and the whole of Sussex, is in danger of getting stuck in a siding."
He concluded: "The Chancellor's Autumn Statement would be a great time for us to get some good news on BML2!"
Meanwhile, Norman Baker has yet again attacked BML2 in the press and criticised his opposing prospective Conservative candidate by saying – "she has backed BML2, a scheme which would go straight from Uckfield to Brighton, bypassing Lewes (we will get a spur if we are lucky) but requiring a massive tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause."
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