Public ‘misled’ over Tory’s Uckfield/Lewes train link plan

Through your columns the MP for Lewes has misled the public as to the railway policy of his Conservative opponent, Maria Caulfield.

He claimed that Ms Caulfield does not support the reinstatement of the link between Uckfield and Lewes, observing that she only backed BML2.

I had the opportunity of asking Ms Caulfield to put the record straight the other day when she was on the campaign trail. I can now confirm that she does support the linking of Lewes with Uckfield and always has done.

The Lewes MP needs to understand that this link and BML2 are not mutually exclusive. BML2 is an expensive, longer-term project. The Lewes/Uckfield link is clearly cheaper and hopefully short-term.

Ms Caulfield believes the link should be built first so that, when BML2 comes to fruition, the spur to which Mr Baker refers will already be in situ.

Brighton deserves a second route to London eventually, but the Lewes/Uckfield link will enable some trains from Eastbourne and Lewes to access the capital via Uckfield thereby releasing capacity on the Brighton to London line to benefit commuters.

On the subject of cannabis, the Lewes MP cannot have it both ways. If he supports making this drug more available as an analgesic to patients suffering from such conditions as multiple sclerosis, then this constitutes a partial legalisation. One cannot classify a drug as illegal and then allow it to be used by a limited population without their incurring criminal liability. The Government takes its advice from medical and scientific experts, not Norman Baker. One needs to consider professional views of people such as Baroness Susan Greenfield. She is an eminent neuroscientist who regards cannabis as a dangerous drug and believes that those who use it are “blowing their brains”. The world of analgesia is not dedicated to making a serious situation worse.

Michael J Richards