Senior Labour Peers briefed on Thameslink 2 at House of Lords
Published on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 07:26
BML2’s Thameslink 2 phase through the eastern capital
is gaining strong support.
Labour Peers Lord Andrew Adonis and Lord Bassam of Brighton have been given an updated briefing about BML2 and its high-value Thameslink 2 aspect.
London Bridge chaos proves the need for a second cross-Thames rail connection, whilst the reality of running 22 trains per hour has not matched computer modelling carried out by Southern.
There are already hints of future problems at Blackfriars and Farringdon.
At the Lords briefing were strategic business representatives, who expressed very strong interest in seeing Thameslink 2 happen.
Chancellor George Osborne recently said Government needs “to look at the bold ideas you have for connectivity in London – the prospective Conservative MP in Lewes, Maria Caulfield, is a strong advocate for a new BML2 line into London.”
Countering this, Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker, has intensified his campaign against BML2 by attacking his Conservative opponent. “Lewes–Uckfield reinstatement is, it is important to note, different from the so-called BML2 scheme, supported by the Tory parliamentary candidate. Apart from being hugely expensive, this would run direct from Uckfield to Brighton, so bypassing Lewes. It would need a huge amount of tunnelling under the town, with all the disruption that would cause.”
BML2 specifically serves Lewes and Eastbourne as much as Brighton, whilst claiming it tunnels underneath the town is utterly untrue.
Brian Hart told the Sussex Express Mr. Baker was “perfectly entitled to be extremely sceptical about BML2 but, devoid of valid arguments, shouldn’t resort to untruthful tactics” and said the tunnel under the town claim was “a deliberate lie”. The ex-minister immediately contacted the newspaper whereby its content editor thought it could be “potentially defamatory” and invited a withdrawal of the remark and an apology to Mr Baker.
We declined and responded that if anything was pejorative, it was Mr Baker’s assertions and the only person deserving an apology is Ms Caulfield. But that isn’t going to happen.
The enduring problems on the south’s railways are profound and politicians should be uniting in expanding the most overloaded system in the UK.
We’ve said it countless times in the past and we’ll say it again – we need a bigger network – it’s BML2 or bust!
To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE
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.”
To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE