Back in August the Sussex Express reported that Railfuture’s “Bridge the Gap” campaign to re-open the rail link between Uckfield and Lewes attracted widespread support at the Neighbourhood Plan exhibition held in the Town Hall in Lewes (16th August 2014).
I can verify this as I was on the next door stand carrying out a survey on all transport issues in the town.
In fact 67 percent of the people supported the re-establishment of the rail link between Uckfield and Lewes.
Confusingly there are two competing proposals for improved connections from the south coast to London.
One is called ‘BML2’ and the other one is called ‘Bridge the Gap’.
Residents in Lewes may be confused by the support given in a recent Conservative Party leaflet which says that the Tories support BML2.
Fine, but the BML2 primary route does not serve Lewes! Also, BML2 is a project which will cost billions and it will be many years before it is built, if ever!
On the other hand the Bridge the Gap route is simply a direct link between Uckfield and Lewes and will mean building only seven miles of track and could be built much more quickly.
What we should all be campaigning for is to get the government to change their current transport study for Sussex to look at road AND rail; not just look at the A27 road.
Currently the government have an almost ‘private’ focus group with the ‘Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’ (LEP) & the Highways Agency just looking at roads.
Patrick McLoughlin, who is the Secretary of State for Transport, link up the Highways Agency, Network Rail and the Coast to Capital LEP to look at both forms of transport to help business growth for employers AND employees.
The sketches, above, from the competing groups will help clarify the routes proposed:
Victor S Ient