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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

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Rail Minister sees potential of Thameslink 2 across London

Rail Minister at Lewes with BML2

 

Michael Lunn, Conservative campaigner;

Maria Caulfield, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate;

Rail Minister Claire Perry MP; Gordon Pratt, Thameslink 2;

and Brian Hart, BML2, at the recent presentation in Lewes.

 


During a Sussex visit to discuss Brighton Line problems, Rail Minister Claire Perry MP was briefed about the potential of Thameslink 2 which is part of the Brighton Main Line 2 Project.

 

Secondary route closures since the 1960s had brought capacity crises to the Brighton and Tonbridge mainlines she was told; whilst Network Rail’s insuperable Croydon bottleneck requires a radical solution. The Minister was shown how new cross-lines south of Croydon could allow trains to reach numerous London destinations, giving passengers greater choice and Network Rail much-needed alternatives.

 

She also saw the opportunities Thameslink 2 could provide to the business sector at Canary Wharf, regeneration programmes and fast-developing growth within eastern London. The proposed Bakerloo Line extension would be an opportunity to include Thameslink 2, massively benefiting the capital.

 

The Minister and guests were warned that projected demand at Farringdon had been seriously underestimated and a ‘Blackfriars bottleneck’ was already being talked about.

 

The everyday blocking of London Bridge by Canary Wharf commuters, who had to travel into central London first, must be addressed. Having Blackfriars Thameslink as the only north-south through line in this area was short-sighted and storing-up future chaos.

   

Sussex Conservative campaigner Michael Lunn welcomed the opportunity for Claire Perry, and Maria Caulfield who is standing in Lewes, “to see the benefits the BML2 scheme would bring to Sussex”  and added: “We must also build a new rail connection across East London with Thameslink 2 so that excessive congestion in central London may be avoided.”

 

Rail Minister Claire Perry listened very attentively, fired questions and requested a copy of the presentation and projected costs.
 
Meanwhile, Norman Baker apparently encouraged Croydon Lib Dems to yet again help him fight BML2. Activist John Jefkins MBE (who last year presented a petition at Westminster opposing BML2 to Baroness Kramer) roundly criticized Thameslink 2 in a letter to the Sussex Express, claiming it would see “100 homes destroyed”.

 

This is just as untrue as Norman Baker’s assertion that BML2 within his Lewes constituency would require: “a massive tunnel under the town with all the disruption that would cause."
 
Following the Minister’s visit, John Jefkins retorted: “Any politician instead backing BML2’s extra London costs and bypassed market deserves scorn.”

 
To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

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