Direct rail link between Lewes and Uckfield won’t work

The suggestion put forward by your correspondent (letters, October 31) to simply build a direct rail link between Lewes and Uckfield won’t work.

This has been investigated and rejected so many times, above all by British Rail (1965 and 1971), Network SouthEast (1987), Connex & Railtrack (2000), Network Rail (2008) and again by Network Rail in its latest Draft Sussex Study.

This is because the once-important Uckfield line can no longer run through Lewes and directly into Brighton, thereby effectively relieving the badly overloaded Brighton Main Line. More than anything else, Sussex needs a compliant alternative route as Southern and Network Rail have said many times.

No one could have done more than the Wealden Line Campaign over 24 years (from 1986 to 2010) to promote the case to reopen just a basic Lewes Uckfield rail link. What possible gain could there be, as RailFuture proposes, by going back to square one?

The fundamental problem has to be addressed and only the Brighton Main Line 2 Project can solve this 45-year conundrum.

Lewes will gain enormously as an integral part of BML2 by having additional main line services to London (particularly useful when the BML is out of action), as well as local services to Tunbridge Wells/Tonbridge.

BML2 is gathering widespread interest and political support for very good reason, because it would immensely benefit all of Sussex, as well as the wider South East.

Accordingly, for any Sussex Express readers who wish to know more, we have published on our website a document specifically explaining how only BML2 can realistically profit Lewes.

Brian Hart