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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


Osborne promotes Brighton Main Line 2 Project

Uckfield Buffers


This closed main line from London to Lewes and Brighton should be growing traffic – not trees.


After January’s meeting with Rail Minister Claire Perry, George Osborne committed funding in his spring budget towards investigating BML2.


But, DfT officials thought a new study could be restricted to reopening only the Lewes–Uckfield section for local journeys; its usefulness during disruption on the BML and, if justified, the split between local and national funding.


This narrow focus would doom the project because it is one link in a very long chain. BML2 is not about huge public-purse spending to run a few more subsidised trains, but a business-minded strategy of opening-up specific strategic links to tap into guaranteed profitable markets.


Fearing what might happen if left to Network Rail, the issue was raised with the minister. Nusrat Ghani MP (Wealden) responded: “I’m pleased to let you know that Maria and I met with Claire Perry last week. She confirmed that the Department for Transport is beginning to scope a study into BML2, as per the Chancellor’s statement. (our emphasis)


In last Wednesday’s budget we were extremely pleased to read that George Osborne had acted swiftly and decisively in determining Government policy. Under the heading ‘Securing a truly national recovery’ the chancellor demonstrated he knows what he’s talking about:  


Brighton Main Line: The government will extend 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 DfT’s feasibility study on BML2.


This is a significant step forward because it shows that for the first time ever, the Government appears prepared to take BML2 seriously and is willing to listen and be convinced of its widespread merits.


To continue and read the full article  CLICK HERE

South too wealthy for rail investment

Brighton Lanes


Brighton and the busy South East needs BML2


The South’s rail network is in crisis whereby the Sussex Express pondered: “BML2 – more than just a pipe dream?” while in the city’s Argus, Brighton award-winning transport consultant Nik Askaroff warned: “Access into Brighton is hopeless and we’re at breaking point already. The immediate problem in my eyes is the trains. Someone needs a strategy.


Decades of doing nothing caused George Osborne to observe “– a part of the country that is so often ignored, or left behind, under previous governments” and to declare: “We’ll start a feasibility study into Brighton Main Line 2 – speeding up journeys and relieving congestion in first 100 days for the South Coast”.


Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has always said he remains “alive” to reopening the former Sussex main line.


However, a DfT spokesman argued BML2 was “not a priority” as did Network Rail who said they were still trying to sort out East Croydon.  


Project manager for Network Rail’s previous study in 2008, Chris Curtis, concluded that reopenings in Scotland and Wales “have all been successful because they connected reasonably sized centres of population in economically deprived areas”. He compared these with Sussex: “– this part of the world is hardly deprived economically (particularly if the cars going up Lewes High Street are anything to go by!)”


Even in 2013 he said: “the reason the traffic is bad in that part of the world is that most people can afford cars and tend to use them.” It didn’t occur to him this might be because they no longer have a railway and a train service, whilst remaining lines are consequently jam-packed.


Back then he offered no hope towards eliminating central London’s chaotic congestion with BML2’s Thameslink 2 – “the route to Docklands from a wide variety of Brighton Main Line (and branches) stations from 2018 will be change at Farringdon for Crossrail. No need for another new railway there for a while yet.” The recent gridlock at London Bridge should have changed minds, but don’t bank on it.


Now the DfT has stressed it is fully aware of the aspirations for BML2, whilst Patrick McLoughlin has told the Argus he wants Brighton to benefit from a “world class rail service” and is “looking carefully at ways to improve the train service between Brighton and London.”


After decades of false dawns, let’s hope this time our faith in politicians to get on with BML2 isn’t misplaced. 


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE


George Osborne says Conservatives will examine case for BML2

Brighton Seaford Railway


The South desperately needs a second Brighton Main Line

– not a second main line to Seaford.


George Osborne has said: "The prospective conservative MP in Lewes, Maria Caulfield, is a strong advocate for a new BML2 line into London and we will look closely at its viability."


But any second Brighton line must have direct trains running as swiftly and conveniently as possible between London and Brighton. That's impossible if all passengers have to change at Lewes.


The Brighton Line is full up, East Croydon is a major bottleneck – and there's no spare capacity at London termini – let alone through the Thameslink core.


BML2's new direct line into both Brighton and Lewes is essential to provide an alternative to the grossly-overloaded Brighton Line as train and passenger volumes would increase enormously.


The Chancellor said the South Coast was – "a part of the country so often ignored, or left behind under previous governments".


He pledged to: "examine a second Brighton main line that could help to ease congestion, speed-up journeys and provide regular direct trains to London from Seaford and Newhaven."


But former Transport Minister Norman Baker, now defending his Lewes seat was scornful: "Saying he is backing something weeks before the election is frankly a desperate attempt to get some votes. Tories are spraying money and promises around as they are losing the election. George Osborne's words are simply a lot of pre-election hot air that means nothing."


Mr Baker has steadfastly opposed BML2 – and Brighton being directly connected to it. Following his false claims in the media about BML2 "requiring a massive tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause" an online statement from the Lewes Liberal Democrats has finally admitted: 'Tunnel from Uckfield–Brighton does not.'


Problems across the South's rail network are truly profound and it's BML2 which needs investigating.


Whoever wins power after 7 May cannot afford to ignore it any longer.


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

Senior Labour Peers briefed on Thameslink 2 at House of Lords

Thameslink2 Skyline


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