Lewes Uckfield rail link means better service

Sussex is not a priority and visitors to the BML2 website (www.bml2.co.uk) will already be familiar with the Department for Transport’s stale and muddled thinking ‘Rail link not a priority’ (letters, May 4).

Now that Norman Baker is a transport minister and knows perfectly well his department is talking nonsense, he could bang the table, if not some heads together, but he won’t.

The fact is the Brighton Line cannot operate any more services; it’s full up, while Network Rail told stakeholders last year: “Sussex railways are the most congested in the UK”. However, rather than invest in more track capacity for the Sussex network with BML2 as an additional main line, this “greenest Government ever” as David Cameron calls it, proposes forcing commuters off trains by congestion charging for rail travel between 8-9am.

Better utilisation of existing train pathways into London would allow BML2 to drastically improve rail services across Sussex, Kent and Surrey – delivering enormous amounts of extra capacity.

The DfT’s contention about longer journey times is also spurious, while their belief that East Sussex County Council’s Uckfield road scheme makes reopening the Lewes-Uckfield line easier is baseless.

The road option ESCC will pursue cannot accommodate a bridge at a later date – they’ve said so themselves – while the consequential town centre gyratory they fully intend creating will retain and incorporate the High Street where the level crossing used to be.

Without BML2, rail travel in the south will get worse and, under this Government, only for wealthy commuters.

Brian Hart, Uckfield