Bring on Uckfield Line electric trains – Observer

Our independent Saturday columnist chews over some of the big news items in Uckfield in the last week.

The Gibb report proposing the electrification of the Uckfield Line surprised me.

I have had time – you do sitting on Southern trains – to read the details and am impressed at the case he makes for bringing the “sparks” to Uckfield.

His analysis shows there is so much wrong with the current system of operation. I loved his phrase of a cavalcade of empty trains heading south to Uckfield each morning: I see them as I head north.

Keeping rolling stock overnight at Crowborough makes sense, as does as having staff living locally to that new depot to drive the trains.

Those disruptive Uckfield trains

The killer fact for me was Mr Gibb pointing out that the whole timetable out of London Bridge could be disrupted and almost held “ransom” by the Uckfield diesels.

An all-electric fleet means managers can make the best use of all their stock at London Bridge which should mean a more reliable service all round.

There is now plenty of experience of dual-voltage trains as they have been used by Thameslink for years. Its trains use overhead wires north of the Thames and the “third” rail to the south.

Bring it on, I say, although I do wonder whether I will be collecting my old age pension before they appear.

For those of you so minded, it might be worth dropping a line to MP Nus Ghani to get some political pressure behind this scheme.

Illegal parking


Illegal and inconsiderate parking has been steadily rising in Uckfield for years.

It seems to have become so much worse in recent times.

One word is on everyone’s lips: enforcement.

Control of parking in Wealden remains the duty of Sussex Police (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) because it has not been decriminalised; meaning it then becomes the job of the district council.

Use council tax to employ wardens

It seems to be a widespread belief that decriminalisation will lead to on-street parking charges and pay parking in the council car parks.

In these difficult times for shops, that’s the last thing we need.

Surely, there is another way.

Why doesn’t Wealden use a portion of the Council Tax to employ some wardens?

The cost would surely be offset to some large extent by the fines issued, if the current rate of law breaking continues.

See also:

Rail strike on July 10

Uckfield area events this weekend

Contemporary dance classes at Isfield

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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