Campaign group publishes blueprint for new Brighton railway

Posted On 20 Apr 2010 at 8:29 am

A campaign to build a second main rail line between Brighton and London has launched this week.

The BML2 site, the brainchild of activist Brian Hart, says Thameslink should boost its service with new direct connections which avoided the need to stop at the bottleneck of East Croydon.

It proposes using the adjacent Uckfield line, increasing it from single to double track along its length and extending it southwards with a tunnel at Ashcombe.

It would also involve increasing the platform capacity at Brighton Station to 11.

The report says: “Even though it is constrained by the sea on one side and the South Downs National Park on the other, Brighton is destined to accommodate a further 11,000 homes in the South East Plan, thereby increasing the demand on its already limited rail services.

“Brighton is reliant on good rail connections, in range, quality, reliability and and frequency. With BML being the principal route in the south, it is essential that radical measures are taken to ensure that the City and the Sussex coast sub-region thrive in the 21st century.”

However, although the report outlining the plans runs to 44 pages, there is little thought given to funding the scheme.

The website concedes: “Funding for the scheme could come from many quarters, in partnerships, joint budgets and city institutions, etc., but these are considerations for the coming months.”

What do you think of the BML2 plans? Have your say in the comments below.

  1. don brad Reply

    I like the idea very much.

  2. Howard Risby Reply

    Little thought given to funding BML2 ? Little thought given to the costs of doing nothing in terms of delayed journeys, costs to the Brighton or wider economy. The main station (Brighton) is consistently in the top 10 busiest in the whole UK outside London – according to the Office of the Rail Regulator, with some of the most expensive season tickets. Still no recognition that our city deserves reliable rail services. We’re supposed to be a tourist resort. Who is going to put up with doubled journey times when the line is shut for weekend repairs? How is Gatwick Airport supposed to thrive with a rail connection which has fallen over more than 20 times so far this year? Even the DfT’s own documentation makes clear that current projects will fail to meet demand.

    The ‘brilliant idea’ repeatedly touted to use double deck trains would involve such collosal investment in raising six tunnel roofs that it would dwarf investment necessary for BML2. As for quadrupling the main line, leaving aside the hideous cost in cash and disruption due to unavoidable compulsory purchases at several locations, there remains the self evident fact that a single 4 track route is no less vulnerable to blockage than the existing 2 track formation. Transport Minister and Lewes MP Norman Baker is in favour of re-opening the Lewes – Uckfield line, but against allowing Brighton to benefit thereby. Great reasoning, Minister – ignore the largest conurbation on the south coast!

  3. Howard Risby Reply

    And what about the cost of doing nothing ? The DfT’s own documentation makes clear that even once current projects are complete, capacity issues on the Brighton Line will remain. There are costs every time the line is shut for any length of time – over 20 occasions so far this year, NOT counting weekend closures (essential but hardly an incentive to day visitors).

    What else is on the table? Double deck trains? quadrupling the line south of Three Bridges? Either would dwarf the cost of BML2 while retaining the inherent vulnerability of the single route we currently ‘enjoy’.

    Transport Minister and Lewes MP Norman Baker is in favour of re-opening the missing miles between Uckfield and Lewes, but expressly against Brighton benefitting from the investment. Brilliant, Minister – ignore the largest conurbation on the south coast !

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