The case for a second Brighton Mainline has been ‘strengthened’ by a letter from the rail minister.
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield took part in a Westminster Hall debate earlier this month where Southern’s recent ‘lamentable’ performance was criticised.
Rail minister Claire Perry has since written to all the MPs who took part, and Mrs Caulfield believes this response has strengthened the case for BML2, which would see train services from Brighton to London run through Uckfield.
Mrs Caulfield said: “I welcome the fact that the minister is making improving the Brighton Mainline a priority, and any improvements will be welcomed by my constituents, many of whom rely on this route.
“However, one way to improve the Brighton Mainline is to make BML2 a reality and this is something I will be continuing to press upon the minister.”
In the letter Mrs Perry said: “I have said on a number of occasions that the performance on Southern Railway has not been good enough. For example there has been a clear decline on the Brighton Mainline for over three years.
“I have therefore made it my priority to oversee improvements on this franchise.”
Mrs Caulfield added: “The performance of Southern Rail has clearly not been good enough, testament to this was the large number of MPs who took part in this debate, all with similar reports of constituents who endure poor service from Southern Rail.
“I was pleased to take part in this debate and raise the concerns of my constituents on this important issue. Problems of overcrowding, unreliable services and the cost of tickets are sadly all too common.”
Southern is now part of the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise, which was created by the merger of Thameslink and Great Northern train operating companies.
On its website, GTR admitted that ‘passengers have not been getting the service they expect from us and are understandably feeling increasingly frustrated’,
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