Studies into re-opening the Uckfield to Lewes railway line will focus on three areas, it has emerged.
- the opportunity that the re-opening could offer in terms of local journeys. This would consist of a market study looking at the demand for local journeys along the immediate Lewes to Uckfield corridor, as well as neighbouring areas;
- the strategic contribution that re-opening of the line could make during times of disruption to the Brighton Main Line, both planned and unplanned;
- consideration of the capital funding options, in the event that case was identified for reopening the line. Key to this will be an assessment of the split of local and national funding, reflecting on the findings of the first two elements of the study.
The news was given to Maria Caulfield, MP for the Lewes Constituency, from Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP.
The Minister also stated in the letter that the Department of Transport would shortly begin the process for commissioning work. The process will start this summer with results expected in the autumn.
Maria Caulfield said: “I am delighted that after so many years of campaigns for the re-opening of the Lewes to a Uckfield railway line, that the Rail Minister has agreed to the beginning of the work to look into feasibility of reopening the line.
“This is a major step forward for the local area and from my constituents.
“Dither and delay are now behind us and I shall be pressing the Government very hard, as well as local authorities in the area, to ensure that the reopening of the line takes place and my constituents can clearly see the result of Conservative action.”