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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.

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It is approx 2.5mb in landscape pdf format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important BML2 Information, Facts, Figures and News Reports

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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

Department for Transport and Network Rail are crippling the South

Department for Transport and Network Rail are crippling the South

 

Trains are more popular than ever but the region cannot cope without an expanded system.


 

The Government claims HS2 (and now HS3) are vital for growth, but won’t sort out the south’s blockades.

 

Recently the DfT told Edenbridge Council: “Large-scale investment in alternative routes in the outer area of the Brighton Main Line would likely be of very limited value in the short to medium-term – this finding is applicable to the re-instatement of the Lewes-Uckfield line.”

 

One angry councillor accused them of persistently ignoring the south’s longstanding problems, saying: “this has been going on for well over 25 years”.

 

Network Rail said: “We have asked for the trackbed of the route to be protected as we agree the route will be needed in future. However, there are more pressing needs on the Brighton Main Line, because the capacity squeeze is more acute at the London end of the route. Were we to create space for more trains at the coastal end of the line now, we would just be pouring more water into a blocked sink.”

 

In fact, the BML is one ‘blocked sink’ all the way to Brighton.

 

An equally exasperated Uckfield commuter asked the DfT why Network Rail: “offers no forward strategic planning in respect of the continuing growing use of the rail network in the South East”.

 

He added: “Sussex remains particularly poorly served with effectively only one coastal commuter line to London running through it – the BML – to which everyone railheads. The Uckfield line strategically has no function in its present truncated form beyond serving local towns.  It is chronically underused in terms of train paths”

 

Restoring Brighton’s second main line via Uckfield is needed and he added: “for want of just a few miles of track” the vast conurbations of Tunbridge Wells and Brighton could also be connected, benefiting millions – a view recently voiced by Cabinet Minister and Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark.

 

The DfT responded: “The Department agrees with your view that the findings of the [forthcoming south coast] report need to be considered in the wider regional context”

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The south’s inadequate rail network has a negative impact on its economy. Political pressure is needed at the highest level.

 

 

To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

 

Network Rail yet again dismisses ‘Lewes-Uckfield’ but will consider BML2

BML2

 

Work on introducing a long-overdue new main line between London and the South Coast needs to start straightaway


 

A Network Rail ‘Pre-Route Study’ on the Brighton Main Line has dismissed reopening a Lewes – Uckfield connection.

 

The BML2 Project which proposes major investment and a new direct line into Brighton is not currently being investigated.

 

NR says the BML is already operating at full capacity whilst East Croydon struggles with more trains per day than Reading, Paddington, Euston and Kings Cross.

 

More capacity into London is desperately needed, but route, junction and terminus constraints lead NR to again mention a new 15 mile tunnelled railway under Surrey into the capital.

 

Rising demand on the BML and Gatwick expansion will exacerbate the problem.

 

Although NR wants “continued protection of the alignment” saying “the logic for this remains sound” it rejects an incremental ‘Lewes – Uckfield’ reopening favoured by Lewes MP Norman Baker and RailFuture“The 2008 study indicated this approach did not have a business case.”

 

“Significant upgrade costs” incurring electrification, redoubling 12 miles and resignalling would be required on the Uckfield line – as proposed by the BML2 Project. NR says without this and direct trains into Brighton, it would have no value as a secondary route.

 

It warns a 78-mile London – Brighton diversionary route via Arundel would add a 50 minute penalty to the journey.

 

Clearly, a new main line is required so we are pleased that Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has subsequently stated: “The Government recognises the importance of rail links between London and the South Coast. As such, 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.”

 

 

To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

 

Baroness Kramer joins latest Lib Dem attack on Brighton Main Line 2

Baroness Kramer and John Jefkins

In their latest attack on BML2 by Croydon LibDems, she took possession of petition slips saying: “Lib Dems in government are investing £38 billion in rail in the next five years, including upgrades to the existing Brighton mainline – without damaging Tramlink.”

 

The Lib Dems latest misleading tactic is “opposing any new ‘BML2’ rail line through Croham that would rip up Tramlink from Lloyd Park to Elmers End.”

 

In fact BML2 proposes extending Tramlink and making it even more accessible.  

 

Local LibDem activist John Jefkins says he wants to: “raise awareness of the Brighton Mainline 2 project” and telling the press: “No one knows this is on the cards”.

 

Jefkins said: “It’s bonkers, basically. It has no proper business case. I’m dubbing it a line to nowhere. They may as well build it out to sea because it misses Gatwick, East Croydon and central London.”

 

In reality BML2 serves all these places, bringing much-needed flexibility and new destinations to the South’s rail network.

 

Nevertheless, the Lib Dems clearly view the capital’s global financial centre at Canary Wharf and Stratford International as “nowhere”.

 

Instead, the Lib Dems suggest “extra platforms at East Croydon”. But Baroness Kramer’s own departmental officials would have told her: “There is no further scope within the railway network’s existing footprint”.


Kramer’s predecessor, Norman Baker, a keen advocate of HS2, spent his long term at the DfT by campaigning against BML2 which runs through his Sussex constituency, claiming: “It would be very, very expensive, it would also be very controversial – and the last thing we want is a controversial line.”
 
Re-opening disused railways and exploiting existing assets should be supported by any so-called ‘environmentally-conscious’ politician.

 

Those who actively seek to deny millions a superbly upgraded and expanded network capable of daily transporting thousands of people don’t deserve to be entrusted with such power.

 

 

To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE