Rail campaign group, the Uckfield-based BML2 has condemned Network Rail’s draft strategy.
It said the plan will lead to:
- More congestion
- More passengers standing
- More rail-heading
- More engineering works
- No alternative to the Brighton Main Line
- No new services to Brighton
- No new network links; and concludes:
“Years of continuing delays ahead for rail users on Sussex routes”.
The (Brighton Main Line) BML2 Project Group has published a four-page consultation response to Network Rail’s plans.
UK’s most congested network
In a statement, BML2 said: “Conditions for Sussex rail travellers will worsen, whilst Network Rail’s 30-year plan will stifle economic growth.
“Elsewhere Network Rail is spending millions on re-doubling and electrification; politicians promise HS2 and HS3 – but the UK’s most congested network in Sussex won’t be expanded.
“East Croydon deals with more trains than Reading, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paddington, Euston or King’s Cross. But truly effective solutions are absent.”
Department for Transport
The statement refers to comments made by Department for Transport Ministers about asking Network Rail to consider options for improving capacity on the Brighton Main Line and the contribution BML2 could make.
The statement said Network Rail (NR) had ignored it and instead proposed cramming the Brighton Line with more trains, encouraging more railheading, more overcrowding and more standing.
Network Rail has ‘no ambition’
“NR says reviving Brighton’s former second main line via Uckfield requires redoubling (12 miles) and electrification. Ignoring BML2 completely, which would run directly into the city via Falmer, they mention only an inferior Uckfield-Lewes connection after 2043.
Only last year Lord Adonis (former Transport Secretary in the last Labour government) said it was, “stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed”.
BML2 commented: “But NR has no ambition and seems incapable comprehending what Sussex desperately needs.
“This isn’t good enough. It’s time to stand up for Sussex – not on its trains.”
Read more from BML2 here
Route plan from Network Rail here
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