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Latest 2017 BML2 Project Publication

BML2 response to Gibb Report BML2 response to 2017 Gibb report

Our 10pp response to the Gibb Report is now available to download for viewing or printing.

Click on image to start the download.

It is approx 2.5mb in landscape pdf format.









Important BML2 Information, Facts, Figures and News Reports


BML2 will serve capital’s ‘super hub’

City and Canary Wharf Skyline


“The combination of the City and Canary Wharf makes London the number-one financial centre in the world”
– Sir George Iacobescu.


Sir George Iacobescu, chief executive of the Canary Wharf Group, predicts: “The City and Canary Wharf will become one.” Business here generates over £36bn p.a.


London’s Estates Gazette reports: ‘Private investors are backing a new Crossrail-style high-speed line from Stansted to Brighton which could help unlock the delivery of 100,000 homes.’


A tunnelled speedy link between Croydon and Stratford through the ‘super-hub’ is the investors’ proposal, including removing “both the project construction risk and the capital cost of the finished project from the government’s balance sheet.” Gatwick Airport would be just four stops from Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs.


Emily Williams, Research Analyst at Savills, says: “In short, better connectivity in the form of new railway lines mean better PTAL ratings” – [increases land values]


Estates Gazette recognises BML2 would ‘increase capacity from the south coast to London and enable commuters to travel direct to Canary Wharf and Stratford, locations that have seen a huge increase in homes and jobs in recent years.’


Two new main lines from Brighton and from Tunbridge Wells would be recreated – Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says he’d be “delighted” to see this happen and hopes BML2 is “successful”.


For more details CLICK HERE to read the full article


£15 BILLION private investment for BML2

Thanks solely to the long-running Wealden Line Campaign, inaugurated in 1986, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Greater London are in the extremely envious position of having two main lines serving the capital reopened.

Every serious threat over the past thirty years, including large retail outlets, residential accommodation, industrial unit encroachment, gyratory road schemes and a few others, has been vigorously fought – and won.


At its recent AGM, tribute was paid to its faithful and long-standing members, as well as those councils and Members of Parliament who have stood by the campaign’s aims despite all the odds and in the face of such adversity.


Accordingly it was with great pleasure that Lewes MP Maria Caulfield was, on Wednesday 29 November, able to stand up in the House of Commons during a debate to directly address the Secretary of State for Transport and ask:


“Can I specifically ask on the line reopening because we have the Lewes to Uckfield line in my constituency with the BML2 scheme that could be opened very, very easily, which would improve connectivity and put towns like Seaford and Newhaven on a mainline for the first time. We have private investors willing to put up over £15 billion to fund that. Would the Secretary of State use that scheme as one of the first to illustrate what really can be done?”


In a positively warm and welcoming manner Chris Grayling responded:


“My Honourable Friend knows that I met the investors who are interested in pursuing this project, I have said that I am very open to doing so, I’m waiting with ........



 For more details CLICK HERE to read the full article

BML2 response to Gibb Report

BML2 response to Gibb Report


The publication this summer of the Gibb Report necessitates a response to those matters which could directly affect the BML2 Project. The author of the report, Chris Gibb, aims to provide: 'Changes to improve the performance of the Southern network and train services, and restore passenger confidence'.


His report is dominated to a large extent by the continuing dispute over Driver-only operation (DOO). It is not for us to take sides or comment upon the current industrial disagreement. We are, however, interested in what Gibb has to say about the Uckfield line, hence this document outlining our views.


Our 10-page report is in pdf format and is best read on a Desktop or Laptop computer, as it has been prepared in landscape format, or alternatively, download and print out on a Colour laser or inkjet printer.





Government urges private investors to press on with BML2

Considerable progress has been made over the summer months by the consultants appointed to investigate the engineering challenges presented by the BML2 project and provide suitable outline designs. Much of their work has been highly professional as well as thorough and extensive, whilst over the past few weeks a number of further strategic enhancements have been put forward for inclusion. When the pre-feasibility study is complete and available for publication then we shall of course comment further.


Shortly before the Parliamentary recess, we had the publication (in late-June) of the Gibb Report, ordered by the Secretary of State and the DfT in search of solutions to improving the Southern network and sorting out many of its fundamental problems. The report deals extensively with the long-running industrial dispute over Driver Only Operation, but because a sizeable portion (13 pages) is concerned with the future of the Uckfield line we were interested to see what is recommended.


Gibb strongly favours early-electrification of the severely-restricted Uckfield branch, which was partially-singled by British Rail in 1990 in an attempt to save on track maintenance costs. Electrification would be AC overhead power supply as opposed to Southern England’s widespread DC third rail system. Without redoubling the route – which Gibb opposes – any increase in services will be impossible, whereby a maximum half-hourly peak service will remain in force, with only an hourly train at other times.


We were also surprised to see that to fund his electrification scheme Gibb recommends a 60% increase in annual season tickets on the route. However, in a very long debate in the House of Commons on 4 July, Wealden MP Nus Ghani declared: ‘I support Chris Gibb’s recommendation for electrification of the line and a depot in Crowborough’ whilst Lewes MP Maria Caulfield again called on the Government to back BML2.


Transport Minister Paul Maynard responded by telling MPs: ‘My hon. Friend the Member for Wealden (Ms Ghani) mentioned the Uckfield electrification. We are well aware of that project, and we are looking at it closely to ensure that we have the best possible business case. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewes referred to BML2, and I know that the Secretary of State has met with the group and is urging it to carry on its work.’


We understand the DfT has since broadly accepted Gibb’s recommendations, although it is difficult to see how they could fund electrification, having just contentiously cancelled three major UK schemes.


The railways in the South East are in a profound crisis and in urgent need of major improvements with new lines and links to supply the necessary additional capacity throughout the coming decades. Let us hope the Government gives its full backing to the private consortium’s study later this autumn.