Comment: Is Uckfield to Lewes rail study an election gimmick?

Comment by Observer

There seems to be great delight at the news that Chancellor George Osborne found £100,000 in his Budget for an Uckfield to Lewes railway line study.

The news left me cold. I can’t understand the delight because to me there is one simple question the bald statement in the Budget book failed to answer: What’s happened to the study the Secretary of State for Transport commissioned less than a year ago?

I don’t recall seeing any final report.

Frankly, how many studies do you need? We had the one from a few years back that had narrowly defined objectives.

That study deemed that there was an insufficient financial return to be had on re-opening the line to the south.

It seems to me, in retrospect, that the study greatly under-estimated the number of potential passengers that would use the service to the south; rather ignoring that at the time of closure more people went south than north to London.

Of course, the employment dynamics have changed. We now have packed trains heading north and a new station car park being built so the reinstatement of the line would appear to be, to use that horrible phrase, a “no brainer”.

Call me a cynic if you will, but is another study a bit of an election gimmick that will be kicked once again into the long grass one the votes have been cast on May 7.

£100k Budget pledge for Uckfield – Lewes rail line

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