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Uckfield to Lewes Line - latest news

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On 30 Nov 2013 at 10:36am Flying Scotsman wrote:
See the link

Check it out here »
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On 1 Dec 2013 at 3:00am Peasant wrote:
Yawn. It isn't going to happen. Don't waste anyone's money on yet more pointless studies. Especially mine.
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On 1 Dec 2013 at 11:36am Belladonna wrote:
It's definitely needed and would help open up areas of the south coast for investment and redevelopment.
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On 1 Dec 2013 at 12:42pm passenger wrote:
not 'would' ...'might', or 'might not'. Hence studies.
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On 1 Dec 2013 at 1:01pm JillG wrote:
Also needed as an alternative route to London: it would be slower than via the mainline WHEN the latter's working, but not slower than the classic snarl-ups when there's a broken-down train at Gatwick or a signal fault at Balcombe......
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 10:40am Unconvinced wrote:
Are people really that keen to get to Uckfield? It's not like the buses that go there every half and hour are ever even half full and I'm not convinced that adding an alternative route to London is really what Lewes needs. Plus, where exactly are people planning to put the train tracks? One assumes not back through the precinct and across Malling field and branching off the Eastbourne line would make the train journey probably longer than the current bus journey. The more I hear about this idea, the more it seems like the supporters havn't really thought it through properly.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 10:47am Andy wrote:
Lewes really needs this. Road traffic is clogging up the roads. Frustrating timescales (2019-24!!) but at least it's underway. I do think it is realistic and achievable.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 11:23am Knoxon Cutts wrote:
Once,I believe,the Uckfield line met the London line somewhere north of Landport.Another line to London and house prices will go up,up,up and Lewes will be even more of a dormitory town.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 12:22pm JillG wrote:
Info for Unconvinced - see this link. The line would join the main line just N of Lewes, and there's a plan for a tunnel through to Brighton.

Check it out here »
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 12:27pm Berty Bustle wrote:
I do find it curious there are people who value being able to commute to London from Lewes as more important than preserving what it is that makes Lewes so good that they want to live here in the first place. Uckfield to Lewes is fine as long as it uses the pre-existing route. The people who want new train lines from Lewes, tunnels through hills and more are frankly frightening.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 12:34pm Berty Bustle wrote:
Have a look at where that "tunnel through to Brighton" in JillG's link goes. I can't imagine anyone who lives in Lewes thinking that's a good idea, but especially not those in Nevill or Landport. Is that just BML2 or is that Uckfield-Lewes too? Are they the same thing?
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 2:08pm Andy wrote:
Berty Bustle,
No one is saying they value commuting over preserving Lewes!
I live in Lewes and I want better public transport for everyone. Better public transport = less car traffic/rush hour jams/fumes = better Lewes. Trains are very good for the environment & I really hope BML2 goes ahead.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 2:37pm Berty Bustle wrote:
When you've made Lewes a commuter hub how will people get to the station Andy without cars, rush jams, fumes? And why build a train line that destroys the environment then claim you want to protect it? So many holes in your argument you could drive a train through it :p
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 3:16pm Andy wrote:
Berty Bustle, Answers to your questions:-
1) People can walk to the train station. If they insist on driving, the train station car park has plenty of spare capacity (look on most days). And once that's full, a 2nd tier is possible on the existing car park (see recent proposal).
2) A train line does not destroy the environment.
BML2 is an environmentally & economically sustainable solution to our transport problem.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 4:13pm Train man wrote:
Berty Bustle, People can come into Lewes by train rather than car, reducing rush jams and fumes (and helping the environment in general rather than just the little bit that will be damaged by the new track). It'll be an ideal way to get to the station. Trains can work both ways.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 4:26pm Steve wrote:
It's not carpark capacity that worries me personally, it's how people will get into it without compulsory purchase and destruction of houses in Friars Walk and Tanners Brook to get a wider road so you can have more than one car going in and out every 30 seconds. And of course the extra traffic it'll generate because part of the business case for BML2 has to be making it easier for train travel from outlying villages and those people won't walk.
There have even been concerns raised from those outside Lewes (it's not just a NIMBY thing) that some of Lewes town itself would be destroyed for BML2. Hopefully digging a big tunnel so close to housing in the SDNP will put a stop to it happening anyway but it's something people who support BML2 will have to start thinking about how they are going to tell people in Nevill, Landport, Friars Walk etc what they want to happen to their environment.
And as HS2 critics have pointed out, an environmentally and economically sustainable solution isn't loads of rail into London, it's diversifying activity away from London.
Once you start looking into it BML2 seems a bit ill thought out and bad news. I'm with Bertie.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 5:32pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I'm in 2 minds about this. The existing Brighton line is at capacity and (apparently) capacity can't be increased. I can see benefits to the wider area if the line's reopened, but can't see that Lewes itself would necessarily gain much from it.
If it means more people driving into Lewes to get the train, and knocking down buildings for roads or car parks, any gain for the town would be outweighed by the disadvantages imo.
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On 2 Dec 2013 at 6:10pm Belladonna wrote:
My understanding is that the new line would continue to Newhaven, opening up that town for regeneration. I don't see why there would be a doubling of commuters from Lewes - I'd presume there would be other rural stations served along route that would take much of the load. A new London link would ease pressure on the south coast main line which is at breaking point. Further rail investment along the south coast would also mean greater transport options and mobility, encourage new business and investment and creation of new jobs and infrastructure away from the centres of Brighton, with perhaps a more even distribution of opportunities across the region. If you read the original link in full it makes a lot of sense - yes it would take a lot of money and time, but we need to do something as pressure on jobs and housing across the south east is only going to increase as London grows. More people are going to move out as the city becomes unaffordable and gridlocked.
It's a much bigger overall picture than just parking in Lewes!
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On 3 Dec 2013 at 2:04am Peasant wrote:
The "economic case" for re-opening the Uckfield line depends on 100M "development gain" from new housing (read the report). At a generous 10K per house, that is 10,000 houses (for new DFL commuters). There are currently about 7,000 houses in Lewes. Where would you like the extra 10,000 built? That's the maths behind the "re-open the line" enthusiasts.
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On 3 Dec 2013 at 8:25am Steve wrote:
Yes, it's not just parking in Lewes, but there are other proposals to improve rail capacity that don't involve destroying a chunk of the South Downs (in Lewes) and ruining Lewes beyond all recognition in other ways too. If Norman Baker has a decent legacy for Lewes in years to come it might just be that he's not supported BML2 while a few other MPs do - he's not been fooled by the fact the pro-BML2 lobby are more vocal than those proposing alternatives. Let's hope he stays that way.
It's important too, to keep the campaigns for BML2 and Uckfield - Lewes separate. They are two different schemes, the former relying on the latter, but by putting them together it weakens the Uckfield-Lewes argument.
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On 4 Dec 2013 at 10:09am Belladonna wrote:
Thanks for clarifying that Steve. My posts have related to the Uckfield - Lewes link. The BML2 proposal seems slightly bonkers to me as it bypasses Lewes altogether (if I understand the maps) and needs a bloody great tunnel building. Whereas the Lewes-Uckfield line would either branch off the London mainline around Cooksbridge, or the other option is a new link line behind Glynde - which then gives further option of linking to Lewes / Brighton or to Eastbourne/ Hastings.
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On 4 Dec 2013 at 6:04pm JillG wrote:
Hi Belladonna - no, it doesn't bypass Lewes, honest! The primary route is from Uckfield to Lewes and on to the coast, joining the main line near Cooksbridge as you describe, but there's a plan for the new line to split here and for a spur to go through a new tunnel W of Lewes to Brighton, as the direct Brighton link makes the line more financially viable. Apparently (and I'm not arguing a case, just reporting what's said) the cost including the tunnel is less than upgrading the road to Uckfield. It's complicated but at least people are looking at the issue and commenting, for and against, which is good.
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On 6 Dec 2013 at 9:10am Steve wrote:
JillG - cost has to be counted in more than monetary terms. The cost of the tunnel through the South Downs will be on quality of life for Lewes and surrounding areas, miserable for those who live within earshot of the line, likely severe environmental and wildlife damage and far more. As Belladonna says, it's "bonkers".
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On 6 Dec 2013 at 6:23pm JillG wrote:
Steve, I do absolutely agree about counting the wider cost - it's a tricky one. Campaigners, though, are usually saying 'Don't build an enlarged road, build a tunnel' (A26, M3, A3 etc) because a tunnel (in this case a rail one - see the rail tunnel under Lewes) is less damaging to the environment/ wildlife and to neighbouring residents. Like you, doing me best to see all sides too, protecting Lewes aesthetically and economically, as you say.


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