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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


Transport Secretary shows keen interest in Brighton Main Line 2


Brighton's 2nd Mainline before closure

 Photo by kind courtesy John Wenham


Closed in 1969, Brighton’s second main line is now part

of serious proposals to boost the rail network and the economy.


Throughout the past year the BML2 Project Group has been in discussion with a number of professional individuals who are attracted by the massive potential of the scheme. Their purpose was to scrutinize the proposal and explore the opportunities which BML2 could provide for growth in the capital, as well as improving and strengthening transport links for the many thousands of people who commute every day across London and the South East.


On Monday 30 January, a delegation, including Sussex MPs and representatives from London & Southern Counties Railways (LSCR) the private sector consortium now seeking to take the project further, was able to meet with Chris Grayling to discuss in broad terms the proposals for new links, as set out by BML2, in order to strengthen the South East rail network.


A spokesman for the LSCR Consortium said: “The BML2 project group has done an excellent job in making the case for extra capacity on the Brighton Mainline route. A new privately-funded line would create additional connections for towns across the southern counties and benefit millions of commuters on one of the UK’s most overcrowded rail routes.”

He went on to explain: “These were initial discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling who was keen to learn more about the project. While the project is still at a relatively early stage, we are encouraged by the interest shown by the Secretary of State and look forward to further positive engagement with Department for Transport officials in the coming months.”  


We understand BML2 will be discussed on BBC Sunday Politics South East on 5 February 2017.


Without doubt, 2017 represents a turning point in the long struggle to revive those lost rail links, as well as making new ones. Accordingly we look forward with renewed enthusiasm to the days and months ahead as BML2 looks set to finally become a reality.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article



Grayling urged to consider ‘A railway that works for everyone’

Main Line lost by Sussex


 Fifty years apart of a Sussex Main Line ~ Barcombe Mills


On the left when trains ran between Uckfield and Lewes before

the aborted Lewes Relief Road scheme caused closure and

on the right Edwina Currie, ex-Tory politician cycling along the old trackbed


Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Sussex MP Simon Kirby (Brighton Kemptown) has written to Secretary of State Chris Grayling MP, requesting that he meets the Brighton Main Line 2 Project Group.


Simon Kirby said: “Following a meeting last week with the BML2 Project Group, I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling asking him to consider holding a meeting with them in early January. I believe that this project could be a long-term solution to resolving some of the problems on the existing line.”


Dubbed ‘a railway that works for everyone’ BML2 is viewed as a critical element to the economy, where trains are the supreme mass-mover of people.


Equally supportive is Lewes MP Maria Caulfield who wrote an erudite article in the Daily Telegraph on 10 December saying: “Sussex is in desperate need of extra capacity and the best way to create that is a second main line from the south coast to London. A proposal for this already exists: Brighton Main Line 2 (BML2) would create a new route from the coast up to Canary Wharf which would take pressure off Brighton Mainline 1, making it easier to upgrade and maintain those creaking old tracks. This project could begin in as little as 18 months; a feasibility study is already on Mr Grayling’s desk and foreign investors are waiting to fund it.”


Brighton’s Green MP Caroline Lucas has been piling pressure on the Government to release the study. On 1 December HM Treasury told her: “The former Chancellor commissioned the London South Coast Rail Corridor Study in 2015, which looks at the region’s rail transport needs broadly. The Study considers the case for investment in the Brighton Main Line, re-opening the Lewes-Uckfield line, as well as the ‘BML2’ concept, for a new mainline to London. The Government will publish the London and South Coast Rail Corridor Study, and its response to the recommendations, in due course.”


As we approach 2017 and with international investment lapping on our shores, there could never be a better time to roll out the carpet and show that Britain really is – ‘Open for Business’.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article

Department for Transport denies indecisiveness over ‘capacity time bomb’

Crush time on Southern


Demand for rail travel has far outstripped available capacity –
the Government needs to sanction BML2 without further prevarication.


The DfT denies it is delaying publication of the long-awaited London & South Coast Rail Study.


Green MP Caroline Lucas recently asked Rail Minister Paul Maynard if he will: “publish the London and South Coast Rail Corridor Study” as well as:  “whether he plans to fund proposals for a Brighton Mainline 2 in order to remedy the significant capacity and performance constraints identified.”


Hove’s Labour MP Peter Kyle said: “We’ve had a new Chancellor, new Rail Minister and new Government since they first promised this report and still passengers suffer every day. As well as doing everything I can to get the current mess sorted out, I am pressing the Government to deal with the long-term capacity time bomb that will explode on to the next generation of passengers if we don’t get this right. I’m calling for this report to be released before Christmas at the very latest.”


The DfT claimed its findings were being “carefully considered by ministers”.


In a letter to one of Southern’s Uckfield Line commuters who wrote to Chris Grayling over the desperate need for BML2, the DfT acknowledged: “Local aspirations to reopen the line are long-standing and well understood by Government and the rail industry. People face considerable frustration in moving between the towns by road, whether by car or public transport. The key challenge with reopening the [Wealden] line is that it would involve significant construction costs and the local demand and wider benefits would be potentially insufficient to make the scheme economically and financially viable.”


This echoes all excuses over forty years for doing nothing. If demand is so low, why has public support been sustained throughout forty years? Why have innumerable studies by British Rail, Network SouthEast, Railtrack, Connex, Network Rail – and now WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff occurred?


This issue has been a festering sore for almost half a century – as ex-Chancellor George Osborne said of Sussex: “a part of the country so often ignored or left behind under previous Governments.”


The DfT said: "The Study considers the case for investment in the Brighton Main Line, re-opening the Wealden line and the Lewes–Uckfield line, as well as the ‘BML2’ concept, for a new mainline to London.”


Only three years ago Lord Adonis, Chairman of the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission declared: “It is stark staring obvious that the second main line to London in needed.”


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article



You’ll be lucky to get a space to stand!

You’ll be lucky to get a space to stand!



Business leaders, politicians and commuters are calling on the Government to rebuild the second main line between London and Brighton.


On top of the worsening capacity crisis in Sussex we have had the worst disruption in decades, whereby the South’s economy has suffered enormously. The Leader of the Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council, Cllr Geoffrey Theobald OBE, has expressed profound dismay: “as the city grows in importance and population, the current rail service cannot cope, even if the trains are running perfectly, let alone for the future”.


He declared: “Fundamentally it’s about providing far more capacity into the network so that more trains can operate and hardworking people can rely on getting to work on time, comfortably and without delays. They may even get a seat!”


Recently, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The reality is there are not enough trains – we need more of them”. However, Mr Corbyn was lucky to sit on the floor. Southern commuters think themselves fortunate if they can even board some services.


We can’t operate more trains as Jeremy Corbyn proposes – because we no longer have a big enough railway – and successive Governments have refused reopening any lines.


Instead, they remain fixated on hugely expensive high-speed schemes. Now, Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, one of Britain’s largest funders of infrastructure projects, is urging Theresa May to abandon HS2, warning: “You can have big projects, but they have got to be the right big projects.”


Brighton’s Conservative Leader described BML2 as “the only solution” and hoped that Chancellor Philip Hammond would have the same interest as his predecessor in building a new main line for the south.


He concluded by expressing the wishes of us all – “Whitehall must therefore grasp the nettle and move forward with BML2 without any more delay.”  


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article