Time to rebuild the South East’s rail network
Published on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 10:58
The South east needs a larger and more resilient network.
The weather has wreaked havoc this winter, exposing the vulnerability of an inadequate system.
Shortly, Network Rail will publish its draft report on running more trains between Sussex and London. As overcrowding worsens, the Government’s response is reduced seating and more standing capacity on the Brighton Line. Not so the West Coast Main Line where £50billion is earmarked for HS2. With Sussex and Kent’s main arteries at full capacity, politicians must speak up.
We need a far more robust and comprehensive network as our new London & South Coast Appraisal explains.
Network Rail and the DfT must look beyond piecemeal enhancements and consider London’s pressing need for new cross-Thames connections. BML2 can connect two of its three hub airports as one joint integrated operation with the capital’s global financial centre at Canary Wharf.
Stratford International would also be served, linking together counties on either side of the Thames divide, paving the way for Thameslink 2 and relieving the pressure forecast at Farringdon.
BML2 is not about speed or substituting HS2, but it’s just as important as the London & South Coast Appraisal shows.
Public tolerance has been tested to the extreme this winter, but the underlying problems facing the south’s network won’t subside with the floodwaters.
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London & South Coast Appraisal Published
Published on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 10:00
After many months of thorough analysis, the BML2 Project Group has produced its own appraisal into how more capacity, network expansion and boosting the regional economy can be achieved. It points the way forward to a phased investment programme which will provide a far more robust and comprehensive rail system.
We believe work should start straightaway, not in fifteen years’ time when Network Rail hopes to mitigate its East Croydon bottleneck headache. Equally, the Department for Transport needs to look beyond piecemeal enhancements and appreciate the bigger picture. This involves London’s pressing need for cross-connections east of the capital.
Two of London’s critical feeders, Sussex’s Brighton Line and Kent’s Tonbridge Line are already at capacity says Network Rail, which admitted there is insufficient track capacity to operate any more trains. The BML2 project can solve two problems at once, but it will probably need friends in high places and powerful political hitters to guide it through.
As the document makes clear, BML2 is not about speed or attempting to rival or substitute HS2; however, it’s just as important. It is about realistically addressing the alarming capacity crisis on a very congested rail system feeding into London from the Home Counties.
To Download the Appraisal CLICK on above image