IN A BBC radio interview on Monday (September 3) Transport Minister Norman Baker MP said he did not think Brighton Main Line 2 would ever happen, claiming it would be ‘very, very expensive’ and ‘very controversial.’
Rejecting BML2’s proposed fast direct rail link into Brighton, the Lewes Lib Dem MP suggests new train services providing extra capacity between the Sussex Coast and London should go to Seaford in his constituency.
He blamed competition between Southern and First Capital Connect for running excessive services to Brighton and wanted trains to Worthing and to Lewes and Eastbourne to be allocated separate paths on the congested Brighton Main Line.
However because the route is full this would mean removing some Brighton services.
Nevertheless the Minister believed this could save eight to ten minutes caused by splitting Coastway services at Haywards Heath and said he was ‘very hopeful’ this demand would be met, having written personally to all give chief executives of train companies currently bidding for the new Thameslink franchise.
BML2 is the Project of the Wealden Line Campaign. Brian Hart launched the Campaign in 1986, primarily aiming to regenerate the Uckfield line by reopening the seven mile link to Lewes.
The Campaign maintains that targeted investment in specific under-used/disused lines is the only way of relieving the South’s overloaded network.
It said this would unlock huge rewards and opportunities for the region.