Letter: BML2 is needed now

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GIVEN the further and major disruption that was experienced last week between London and Sussex in the Gatwick area, and more recent support from Lord Bassam regarding the Brighton Main Line 2 (www.BML2.co.uk) rail scheme highlighted in last week’s Sussex Express, I and many local councils in and around Sussex (including Lewes Town Council) urge Lewes MP Norman Baker to back BML2. Last year saw two major disruptions to the South East rail network, including the East Croydon water main burst and landslide in August and the Balcombe Tunnel collapse in September, and very much highlighted the total reliance that premium paying commuters, businesses and tourists have with the current Brighton Main Line. The network is indeed at tipping point and as Lord Bassam says, ‘Is a must.’

The most disconcerting issue however, that was both highlighted on your front cover last week and is connected to future rail disruption, is the potential Quadrilla fracking site (granted by West Sussex County Council) in close proximity to the Brighton Main Line. Surely, given the justified potential for earthquakes and further consequential damage to both the Balcombe Tunnel and Viaduct, residents, rail users, train operators and Network Rail should be very concerned that disruption on the Brighton Mainline could be far more commonplace given the lines imminent congestion challenges within the next decade. BML2 is needed now and I call on by our local MP and Transport Minister Norman Baker to join neighbouring MP’s and councils in the region to support the scheme.

Matt Kent, Lewes Town Councillor,

Bridge Ward