Brighton & Hove City Council Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, has welcomed the decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to specifically explore the feasibility of building a second main train line between Brighton and London to ease the severe problems with reliability and capacity on the existing line.
Responding to a letter from new Conservative MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, George Osborne said: “As part of the Summer Budget, I have announced the extension of the scope of the Lewes–Uckfield study to look at improving rail links between London and the south coast, including upgrades to existing routes, consideration of the Brighton Main Line corridor, and re-examination of the Department for Transport’s feasibility study on BML2.”
Cllr. Theobald, a long-term supporter of BML2, said: “This really is very welcome news indeed and I would like to thank the Chancellor for his foresight in extending the feasibility study to include BML2. It is clear from his letter that he recognises, not only the benefits to long-suffering commuters of a second Brighton mainline but, equally importantly, the potentially massive economic benefits to the south east as a whole. Maria Caulfield deserves a lot of credit for continuing to pursue the case for BML2 in the face of a vociferous and often misleading campaign by her predecessor, Norman Baker, against it. As a former Brighton councillor, Maria can see the wider benefits that BML2 would bring, not just to her constituency. I very much hope that the study will now proceed apace because the current mainline is clearly very close to breaking point.”