Brighton MP on track to meet transport minister

Posted On 03 Nov 2011 at 11:27 am

Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, is to meet Transport Minister Theresa Villiers to discuss the Lewes to Uckfield rail link.

The line closed in the 1960s but campaigners, including Mr Kirby and the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes Norman Baker, believe that commuters from Brighton would benefit from it reopening.

While Mr Baker, who is now a Junior Minister at the Department for Transport, expects his constituents to enjoy the most benefit if the line reopens, he believes that it will also be good for Brighton.

When there are emergency closures or engineering works on the main line between London and Brighton, diversions usually add at least an hour to the journey.

German Doner Kebab

A revived Lewes to Uckfield link would cut those delays.

It would also offer a route for football fans to Brighton and Hove Albion‘s new stadium at Falmer which does not involve travelling into the centre of Brighton.

As a former member of the East Sussex County Council cabinet, Mr Kirby is aware of the issues involved, including the funding obstacles.

It is not the only rail issue that he has raised on behalf of commuters from his constituency.

Mr Kirby also welcomed news that Southern Railway and Network Rail have been working together to try to combat any potential seasonal disruption this year.

Simon Kirby said: “After experiencing the disruption to rail travel caused by snow and ice I am pleased to see how hard Southern Railway and Network Rail have worked to tackle this problem.

“Many businesses suffered as a result of the delays last year and I welcome any improvements that will reduce the impact this weather has on rail users.’’

Network Rail has made infrastructure improvements including points heaters and ice treatment trains.

Southern said that it had improved its communication with passengers during disruption and modified trains and depots to enable them to cope better with ice and snow.

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