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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


Department for Transport denies indecisiveness over ‘capacity time bomb’

Crush time on Southern


Demand for rail travel has far outstripped available capacity –
the Government needs to sanction BML2 without further prevarication.


The DfT denies it is delaying publication of the long-awaited London & South Coast Rail Study.


Green MP Caroline Lucas recently asked Rail Minister Paul Maynard if he will: “publish the London and South Coast Rail Corridor Study” as well as:  “whether he plans to fund proposals for a Brighton Mainline 2 in order to remedy the significant capacity and performance constraints identified.”


Hove’s Labour MP Peter Kyle said: “We’ve had a new Chancellor, new Rail Minister and new Government since they first promised this report and still passengers suffer every day. As well as doing everything I can to get the current mess sorted out, I am pressing the Government to deal with the long-term capacity time bomb that will explode on to the next generation of passengers if we don’t get this right. I’m calling for this report to be released before Christmas at the very latest.”


The DfT claimed its findings were being “carefully considered by ministers”.


In a letter to one of Southern’s Uckfield Line commuters who wrote to Chris Grayling over the desperate need for BML2, the DfT acknowledged: “Local aspirations to reopen the line are long-standing and well understood by Government and the rail industry. People face considerable frustration in moving between the towns by road, whether by car or public transport. The key challenge with reopening the [Wealden] line is that it would involve significant construction costs and the local demand and wider benefits would be potentially insufficient to make the scheme economically and financially viable.”


This echoes all excuses over forty years for doing nothing. If demand is so low, why has public support been sustained throughout forty years? Why have innumerable studies by British Rail, Network SouthEast, Railtrack, Connex, Network Rail – and now WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff occurred?


This issue has been a festering sore for almost half a century – as ex-Chancellor George Osborne said of Sussex: “a part of the country so often ignored or left behind under previous Governments.”


The DfT said: "The Study considers the case for investment in the Brighton Main Line, re-opening the Wealden line and the Lewes–Uckfield line, as well as the ‘BML2’ concept, for a new mainline to London.”


Only three years ago Lord Adonis, Chairman of the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission declared: “It is stark staring obvious that the second main line to London in needed.”


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article



You’ll be lucky to get a space to stand!

You’ll be lucky to get a space to stand!



Business leaders, politicians and commuters are calling on the Government to rebuild the second main line between London and Brighton.


On top of the worsening capacity crisis in Sussex we have had the worst disruption in decades, whereby the South’s economy has suffered enormously. The Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald OBE, has expressed profound dismay: “as the city grows in importance and population, the current rail service cannot cope, even if the trains are running perfectly, let alone for the future”.


He declared: “Fundamentally it’s about providing far more capacity into the network so that more trains can operate and hardworking people can rely on getting to work on time, comfortably and without delays. They may even get a seat!”


Recently, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The reality is there are not enough trains – we need more of them”. However, Mr Corbyn was lucky to sit on the floor. Southern commuters think themselves fortunate if they can even board some services.


We can’t operate more trains as Jeremy Corbyn proposes – because we no longer have a big enough railway – and successive Governments have refused reopening any lines.


Instead, they remain fixated on hugely expensive high-speed schemes. Now, Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, one of Britain’s largest funders of infrastructure projects, is urging Theresa May to abandon HS2, warning: “You can have big projects, but they have got to be the right big projects.”


Brighton’s Conservative Leader described BML2 as “the only solution” and hoped that Chancellor Philip Hammond would have the same interest as his predecessor in building a new main line for the south.


He concluded by expressing the wishes of us all – “Whitehall must therefore grasp the nettle and move forward with BML2 without any more delay.”  


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article



Time for New Main Lines in the South


Overcrowded Southern Train


The new Government’s biggest challenge –
building BML2 for more trains into London.


The new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, must demonstrate the same interest as his predecessor George Osborne in building new main lines to solve the horrendous crisis on the London and South East network.

Theresa May has made a good move appointing Chris Grayling as Transport Secretary. In 2006 he told us: “I can understand your interest in the scheme and appreciate the potential benefits of opening up the line to the South Coast through Uckfield.”


The Uckfield line was one of the ‘top four’ the Conservatives were most interested in. Chris Grayling said a reopened Uckfield line: “– could act as a valuable relief line for the [Brighton] main line to the south coast from London.”


Other Transport Ministers such as Justine Greening and Teresa Villiers called it “a viable proposition” as well as “an issue of high importance”.


We hope Theresa May will now release Osborne’s Treasury-funded study into BML2. It is also an opportune moment for Mrs May to invite high-profile investors around the table. The private sector has repeatedly expressed its serious interest in investing in worthy infrastructure projects.


Also appointed is Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby, who takes a Ministerial position as Economic Secretary to the Treasury in Mrs May’s new Government.


Simon Kirby, a long-standing supporter of BML2. Following a meeting with the BML2 Team in 2012 he said: “As they know I am a supporter of their cause. They have made the argument that a second main line is the only realistic and cost effective means of overcoming the existing capacity problems that are clear to us all.”


He added that BML2 would ease pressure on the congested Brighton to London commuter line would boost tourism and visitor numbers to the area and would bring more jobs and economic opportunity.


The railway’s problems are profound and go way beyond solving the current industrial dispute. Investors must be invited to build these new main lines so more trains can operate and provide the much-needed capacity.


BML2 is one enormously valuable transport scheme which offers so much opportunity for growth and prosperity across London and the South East – it has to be grabbed with both hands – and without any further delay.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article




Compelling Case for BML2 Expected in Autumn


Sussex Mainline Lost in 1969 

The main line Sussex lost in 1969 – now a compelling case.
Photo courtesy John Wenham

Brighton and Hove Conservative Group Leader, Councillor Geoffrey Theobald has expressed dismay at criticism from Labour and Liberal Democrats in East Sussex over a second Brighton to London mainline.


Lewes Lib Dems criticised their Conservative MP Maria Caulfield, who responded: “Once again the Lib Dems have got it wrong.”


She added: “As far as I am concerned there was no baton to pass on due to the lack of action by Norman Baker”.


Chancellor George Osborne promised the more extensive London & South Coast Study would include BML2. The report to be published this autumn is expected to be favourable.


Meanwhile, a Hastings Labour Councillor told East Sussex County Council cabinet that reinstating Lewes–Uckfield was “a piece of madness” and urged them not to be diverted by “mythical plans”.


Not unexpectedly, Cllr Daniels’ opposition found warm favour with the County Council’s Director of Communities, Economy and Transport, Rupert Clubb, who gladly reminded cabinet that the 2008 Study, steered by ESCC and which considered only Lewes to Uckfield, concluded it “did not offer value for money”.


In Brighton, the Conservative Group Leader said ex-MP Norman Baker did absolutely nothing when he was given the job of Lib Dem Transport Minister to champion BML2 – in fact, quite the opposite. By stark contrast, George Osborne has provided £100,000 funding for a study into BML2 which is due to report in the autumn.”


After claiming BML2 “bypassed Lewes” and it would “tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause” Norman Baker’s attempt to discredit it backfired, whilst Lewes Lib Dems later admit the claims were false.


Brighton’s Conservative Group Leader Cllr Theobald said: “I remain hopeful that BML2 will get the green light from the Government in the near future. George Osborne has consistently demonstrated his commitment to serious transport infrastructure projects in recent years. I think that he will be convinced by the economic case for BML2 which in my view, is compelling and was the main reason why it was included in our recent Greater Brighton devolution bid to Government.”  


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article