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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 urged to start supporting Brighton Main Line 2

BML1 Sussex Main Line 

The BML – a route at bursting point.

Sussex desperately needs its secondary main line to both Lewes and Brighton restored.


Cllr Geoffrey Theobald OBE, Brighton & Hove City Council Conservative Group Leader has said repeated closures of the Brighton Line shows – "how desperately we need a second direct route between our city and the capital."


He recently met Transport Minister Claire Perry to – "highlight the increasingly strong economic case for BML2" as well as the – "fundamental problems of lack of capacity and lack of a quick and reliable alternative."


Southern's managing director admitted it was – "a tough bit of railway to operate. Capacity and performance are at odds..."


The City's Conservative Leader commented – "If this isn't a plea for a second Brighton to London mainline then I don't know what is."


He said it was – "baffling in the extreme that BML2 is barely even mentioned in Network Rail's draft Sussex Area Route Study" before adding – "longer and more frequent trains are no help when the line is closed."


However, he told the BML2 Project Group "Despite this, I am optimistic that the case for BML2 is gaining traction" mentioning Labour Lord Adonis's comment that it is – "stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed."


Cllr Theobald said another positive development is – "Lewes MP, Norman Baker, one of the most vociferous and influential opponents of BML2 is no longer a Government Minister."


He warned that "unless the nettle is grasped over BML2, Brighton & Hove, and the whole of Sussex, is in danger of getting stuck in a siding."


He concluded: "The Chancellor's Autumn Statement would be a great time for us to get some good news on BML2!"


Meanwhile, Norman Baker has yet again attacked BML2 in the press and criticised his opposing prospective Conservative candidate by saying – "she has backed BML2, a scheme which would go straight from Uckfield to Brighton, bypassing Lewes (we will get a spur if we are lucky) but requiring a massive tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause."


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE



Stand up for Sussex – not on its trains

Wasting Assets


Rebuilding Sussex’s other London – Brighton main line is long overdue.



Conditions for Sussex rail travellers will worsen, whilst Network Rail’s 30-year plan will stifle economic growth.


Elsewhere Network Rail is spending millions on re-doubling and electrification; politicians promise HS2 and HS3 – but the UK’s most congested network in Sussex won’t be expanded.


East Croydon deals with more trains than Reading, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paddington, Euston or King’s Cross. But truly effective solutions are absent.


DfT Minister Baroness Kramer said: “We have asked Network Rail to consider options for improving capacity on this key corridor including the role that the Brighton Main Line 2 proposals could make.”


Transport Minister Stephen Hammond also suggested “elements of the wide ranging proposals, collectively known as Brighton Main Line 2” would be considered.


But NR has ignored it and instead proposes cramming the Brighton Line with more trains, encouraging more railheading, more overcrowding and more standing.


Brighton comes off worst of all. No new rail connections across Sussex, Kent and Surrey, no alternative route to London, whilst the seaside city’s commuters can fight for a seat with all those forced onto their line.


NR says reviving Brighton’s former second main line via Uckfield requires redoubling (12 miles) and electrification. Ignoring BML2 completely, which would run directly into the city via Falmer, they mention only an inferior Uckfield-Lewes connection after 2043.
The DfT has slashed standing room allowance on Govia Thameslink Railway’s new Thameslink trains from two to four people per square metre. So much for GTR chief’s claim about “more comfortable to stand up in”.


Only last year Lord Adonis said it was: “stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed”.


But NR has no ambition and seems incapable comprehending what Sussex desperately needs.
This isn’t good enough. It’s time to stand up for Sussex – not on its trains.



To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE


Our full 4-page response to Network Rail’s Draft Sussex Area Route Study can be downloaded here.


Tunnel vision over £3bn Bakerloo extension?

Elmers End


Elmers End: Should this remain a dead-end branch to Hayes?

Heading straight on (as it used to) this route must become a new main line from London’s business heartland at Canary Wharf running direct to Gatwick and the Sussex Coast as part of Thameslink 2.

Controversy surrounds the £3bn Bakerloo extension to Hayes in Kent. Boris Johnson calls it a “top priority” but thousands of Southeastern’s commuters could find their Charing Cross/Cannon Street trains replaced by tube services to Waterloo.


And ‘Brighton Main Line 2’ needs this valuable rail corridor between south Croydon and Lewisham to introduce ‘Thameslink 2’ for greater regional and cross-capital connections.


Suburban, or underground, lines running alongside a new main line can be accommodated.


A North London Borough already appreciates ‘Thameslink 2’, one observer even suggesting it would be “easier to deliver” than the Government’s controversial HS2 “– and with more tangible economic gains!”


Thameslink 2 would directly link Gatwick and Stansted airports through Canary Wharf and East London. In its formal response they say:


‘NEW REGIONAL NETWORK RAIL LINE – Promote the new Thameslink 2 ‘Stanwick’ regional line proposal that links Brighton and Gatwick with Stansted airport via Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf) and the Lower Lea Valley.  This will provide higher capacity on the network and directly link the Canary Wharf metropolitan employment centre with the South-East region.’


With media already talking about a Thameslink ‘Blackfriars bottleneck’ – even BEFORE the Thameslink 2018 Programme is complete and operational – action on Thameslink 2 is essential.


Millions of southern rail-users are feeling aggrieved, exasperated, angry, ignored and simply taken for granted and wondering just where are the powerful voices in Parliament who will speak up for this region.


This enduring mess of a rail network needs to be sorted out and BML2, alongside Thameslink 2, should be getting the serious attention from Government it truly deserves.


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

Brighton Main Line 2 may be included says Minister as politicians clash over project

Brighton 82360


More track and trains are needed between the South Coast and London


Support for BML2 is being voiced among some Conservatives.


The Transport Minister told Brighton MP Simon Kirby that next year “a range of potential options for investment, some of which may include elements of the wide ranging proposals, collectively known as Brighton Main Line 2” will be considered.


Simon Kirby said: “The Brighton Line is at capacity and a long-term solution is needed. There is a strong argument for us getting a second line, not only to solve problems of capacity, but also robustness”.  


Conservative candidates Nusrat Ghani (Wealden) and Maria Caulfield (Lewes) have also spoken in support, followed by a longer feature on ITV’s Meridian News, explaining how BML2 would reintroduce Brighton’s second main line.


However, Lib Dem Lewes MP Norman Baker remains opposed, telling Meridian viewers: “I’m all in favour of reopening railway lines; in fact I did some when I was Minister of Transport in the Department for Transport and I want to see extensions to the railway network. But we have to be practical as to what’s achievable. Lewes to Uckfield in my view is achievable, but BML2 practically – whether it’s desirable or not – is not achievable.”


Previous schemes over 45 years have all been rejected as “Lewes would constrain through-running to Brighton” because the volume of additional trains to make it viable would not be possible.


Network Rail’s 2008 study showed reopening just Lewes–Uckfield, as proposed by Norman Baker, would not benefit the Brighton Line. Electrification, redoubling and direct running between London and Brighton is critical – as proposed by BML2.


So much could have been achieved since 2010 had Norman Baker, when he was Transport Minister, put his narrow personal ambition to one side and instead worked jointly with neighbouring MPs and councils who support BML2.


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE