Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has given a government commitment to a full study into the Brighton Main Line 2 (BML2) proposal.
Since the study was announced in last March’s Budget statement, there had been fears locally that it would look only at re-opening the line from Lewes to Uckfield, especially given the opposition to BML2 voiced by Norman Baker (the former Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes), and the words in the Budget documentation that referred only to Lewes-Uckfield and not BML2.
Maria Caulfield, the Conservative MP for Lewes, wrote to Osborne with these concerns on June 22.
In his reply dated July 16, Osborne states: “Effective transport links are vital for our economy to function properly. This means providing significant transport investment to places like the South Coast, where it is essential to have excellent connectivity between London and places like Lewes and Brighton.
“As you noted, I announced funding earlier this year towards a feasibility study for the re-opening of the Lewes-Uckfield line. However, I want to go further and take the opportunity to look at rail links in Sussex more generally, including the viability of a Brighton Main Line 2.
- For more on this story, see RAIL 781 on August 19 2015