Call for Boris Johnson to champion second Brighton mainline

Uckfield station
Uckfield station

Campaigners have called on new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to champion a second Brighton mainline.

The BML2 project advocates the a new route between the coastal city to London via Uckfield.

As well as proposing new links from both Falmer and Lewes to Uckfield the project also includes a fast link from Croydon to London’s Docklands and new connections to Tunbridge Wells.

The BML2 project said ‘our broken main lines between London, Kent and the Sussex Coast must be a top priority for our new prime minister’.

In a statement it said: “Top level political support is both desirable and necessary for BML2. Needless to say, we have unavoidably been caught up in the current inertia associated with the UK’s departure from the EU.

“Once there is a conclusion we can only hope the wheels of government may again start turning because there is so much that needs urgent attention and doing. It is in everyone’s interest that the past couple of years’ torpor will be replaced by new ideas, fresh vigour and energy and the will to ‘get on’ and prosper – there is so much to be done.

“The new prime minister must welcome the proposals of business and the private sector in building new infrastructure and we hope the door of No.10 will be open with the ‘welcome’ mat firmly on show.

“As our backers and partners have said, BML2 is a tremendous project for London and the South East, so it’s about time it finally receives political support at the highest level and the commitment it so rightly deserves to assist its delivery.”

Although the project has not received the backing of Network Rail, the aim of the project is for it to be privately funded without any financial support from the taxpayer or Government.

And while the Department for Transport previously said the project ‘has no clear strategic rationale, based on forecast travel patterns, jobs and housing growth’, its backers argue that journey times to the capital’s commercial hub would be slashed for businesses and passengers.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance – as part of ‘The Great British Transport Competition’ – recently voted BML2’s Sussex Phase with its Ashcombe tunnel connecting directly into Brighton and Hove to be the top project in the south.

According to the groups’ website the BML2 plan is ‘the only current project that will provide increased capacity and unlock Network Rail’s stated “Major Barriers to Growth in the South East”, for which Network Rail currently have no answer, other than to consider pricing people off train travel during the weekday peak period’.