‘Number one Uckfield gripe’ could be sorted

At its recent meeting in Buxted the Uckfield Railway Line Parishes Committee (URLPC) backed efforts being made to turn over land at the former railway station site in Uckfield for use as a much-needed car park. This Committee is made up of representatives from town and parish councils along, and near to, the Uckfield Rail Line, plus some user groups. It aims to monitor the service and to promote improvements on the line.

Members say the land is presently in the hands of a quango that seeks to obtain the best price. That quango will soon be disbanded and the land will pass to another quango, the London and Continental Railway, which will operate in a similar way. However, Network Rail have declared a strong interest in taking over the land and in implementing plans for a town car park. The Network Rail plans, with the support of East Sussex and Wealden District Councils, are well-advanced and provide a certainty of action.

The URLPC has written to the Government to support efforts being made elsewhere locally for the immediate transfer of the land to Network Rail. Duncan Bennett, Chairman of the URLPC, said: “We know that lack of car parking space at the busy Uckfield station is a number one gripe for both rail users and the owners of homes in the vicinity of the railway station who find cars parked outside their homes all day long. A resolution to these concerns is within our grasp – or the grasp of the Government, anyway. We are urging the Department for Transport to support Network Rail and the local delegation due to meet the Rail Minister on December 13, to bring about a long-overdue solution to this issue which affects rail travellers and blights the lives of local residents in both Uckfield and Buxted.”