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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


City unites over call to build new Sussex main line

Brighton Station Gateline


BML2 would bring about enormous economic benefits

to both Greater Brighton and Greater London



Brighton’s Conservative Group Leader Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, is calling for a second Brighton to London rail mainline – BML2 – to become a reality and wants it to be the centrepiece of the Greater Brighton devolution bid to Government.


Recently Chancellor George Osborne declared Sussex was: “– a part of the country so often ignored, or left behind under previous Governments.”


Cllr. Theobald explained: “All the areas such as Manchester and Birmingham which have been successful in their negotiations with Government for greater powers have had a bold and ambitious vision for their areas. By putting the very obvious case for a second direct rail line from Brighton to London at the forefront of our bid, I firmly believe that we can join these municipal powerhouses.”


He emphasised BML2 is as much about the economy as transport and should therefore be treated accordingly: “BML2 would bring about enormous economic benefits to both Greater Brighton and Greater London.”


Sussex MPs are equally determined to press the Government to get on with building BML2. Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “Brighton’s commuters are fed up. It’s abundantly clear that the Government should invest in Brighton Main Line 2. Not only would the new line ease congestion on the route to London but it would connect Brighton to towns in East Sussex, Kent and Surrey. I fully support the BML2 project and will continue to put pressure on the Government to turn this very positive vision into a reality.”


Labour leader of the City Council, Cllr Warren Morgan, said: “We all know that the BML needs an alternative, even Network Rail admit this. BML2 would open up more services to London with new destinations in Kent and beyond. It would significantly benefit Gatwick and ease the chronic overcrowding on the present service. If the Greater Brighton area is to truly prosper then BML2 is the key to unlocking that economic growth and we call on the Government to recognise this.”


Green Cllr Tom Druitt added: “Proposals to develop a second Brighton Mainline would be a huge boost to the local economy. The Brighton Main Line 2 project is an essential investment which will pay for itself many times over and is a critical element of a more sustainable development plan for the South East region.”


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article






Missing Link


A wasting asset closed in 1969 and just several miles in length –

the South’s most notorious ‘missing link’. 



Three developments have propelled BML2 forward.


Firstly, the Conservative’s intellectual Bow Group has published Reviving Britain’s Railways calling on Government to reverse 1960s rail closures and cites building Brighton Main Line 2.


Secondly, George Osborne has appointed Lord Adonis to head the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). Two years ago Adonis proclaimed it was: “stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed” – adding: “The loss of Brighton's second main line via Uckfield and the direct London services it provided was a massive error of the 1960s. It needs to be reversed. Brighton Main Line 2, by reconnecting Brighton with London as one seamless journey, has the potential to do this”.


Thirdly, the Government has appointed WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to ‘evaluate the strategic case for investment in existing and new rail capacity along this corridor.’


Last week the BML2 Project Group gave a 90-minute presentation to the consultants showing how the Government’s aspiration for ‘entirely new or largely new lines between the South Coast and London, including concepts such as BML2’ could be delivered.


Phases for Sussex, Kent and London comprise BML2, expanding the national rail network for more train services in the South East. Gatwick and Stansted airports would gain direct, faster and increased connections through Canary Wharf, Stratford International and Crossrail. Building such fundamental infrastructure will secure both airports’ prosperity – especially if Heathrow receives a third runway.


We have a rail network struggling to manage demand; public clamour for more train services and better journeys; a private sector keen to invest in infrastructure; and a Chancellor keen to get Britain building again.


There’s never been a better time to start building BML2.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article


Hever Station


Shameful - the South East’s most notorious wasting asset.



Ahead of George Osborne’s commissioned investigation into BML2, Network Rail’s newly-published Sussex Study reveals BML2 would be the fastest alternative rail route to London.


Via BML2 would be 73 minutes (currently fastest 56/semi-fast 64 minutes), providing the quickest-possible second route.


Faster than reversing trains at Lewes by 20 minutes (with only an Uckfield–Lewes link), faster than building a ‘Lewes loop’, and infinitely faster than via Arundel.


But NR thinks the South East can wait another three decades for BML2.


Despite Sussex lines carrying more than 60,000 into London during the high peak, unlike Scotland, no new or re-opened lines are planned.


BML2’s diversionary capability is just a bonus – because it’s a hugely-useful new main line in its own right avoiding bottlenecks at East Croydon, London Bridge and Blackfriars.
Instead, Network Rail and the DfT intend over-cramming the Brighton Line. Today’s carriages typically carry 99 people, but the new Thameslink trains will have fewer seats and loads more standing room – carrying half as much again. But they will also be subject to the same old delays and cancellations.


It is also hoped to run trains every 150 seconds through the 2-track Thameslink core at Blackfriars/Farringdon which relies on trains north and south converging in the right sequence with no delays. Industry journal Rail Engineer aptly concluded: “Fingers crossed all round, I guess.”


Our inadequate rail system seriously damages the Sussex economy and London’s too. That‘s why the Chancellor’s intervention is so important because he recognises the immense value of BML2 and its Thameslink 2 aspect which has the greatest benefit, economic return, and usefulness after Crossrail.


George Osborne needs to be at the very heart of this because BML2 is as much about the economy as transport, and it is a project he needs to steer through with all possible speed.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article





HM Treasury gives green light to Brighton Main Line 2 study

Yellow Aspects


Yellow aspects are now common on the Brighton Line
which increasingly has to bear more trains and traffic

between the Sussex Coast and London.

The south urgently needs the Government's green light for BML2.



Writing from HM Treasury, George Osborne says he is wholly committed to a full study into Brighton Main Line 2.


In a letter to Sussex MP Maria Caulfield (Lewes) which he asked to be forwarded to the BML2 Project Group, the Chancellor pointed out how vital effective transport links are to the economy.


“This means providing significant transport investment to places like the South Coast, where it is essential to have excellent connectivity between London and places like Lewes and Brighton.”


Recently at Westminster many concerned MPs, including Maria Caulfield, debated the lamentable performance of Southern and the overall crisis of insufficient capacity affecting routes in London and the South East.


Shadow Transport Minister Lilian Greenwood questioned Rail Minister Claire Perry over whether the Government was genuinely committed to investigating BML2, rather than just a 7-mile reopening between Uckfield and Lewes.


In a formal written response to Maria Caulfield MP the Chancellor was unequivocal:


“As you noted, I announced funding earlier this year towards a feasibility study for the re-opening of the Lewes–Uckfield line. However, I want to go further and take the opportunity to look at rail links in Sussex more generally, including the viability of a Brighton Main Line 2. Therefore, as part of the Summer Budget, I have announced the extension of the scope of the Lewes–Uckfield study to look at improving rail links between London and the south coast, including upgrades to existing routes, consideration of the Brighton Main Line corridor, and re-examination of the Department for Transport’s feasibility study on BML2.”


George Osborne has unquestionably shown he is his own man, whilst the fact that he, rather than the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, has made this statement is exceptionally encouraging.  


As Chancellor, he more than anyone else, realizes the potential BML2 holds by giving the capital’s commercial heartland new horizons, as well as all rail-users new hope.


To continue and read the full article  CLICK HERE