COMMUTERS have suffered a fresh setback after a long-awaited government-commissioned study into a new rail line has said there is “no case” to take forward the proposals at the current time.
The Department for Transport has finally published the £100,000 study into the Brighton Main Line 2 today almost two years after it was announced by then Chancellor George Osborne ahead of the last election.
Responding to the report, rail minister Paul Maynard said current plans to invest in the existing Brighton Main Line could cope with demand for the at least the next 30 years even though service had been “particularly compromised” in recent months and levels of on-time performance have been among the lowest nationally for a number of years.
The report is also a blow for campaigners hoping to re-instate the line between Lewes and Uckfield to help alleviate pressure on Brighton to London services.
The report’s authors have suggested that other interested parties, including councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships, may wish to progress work to improve the viability of the rail infrastructure schemes.
The report suggests it could be funded if communities accept “significant” additional local housing and commercial development.
BML2 campaigners are also being encouraged to continue to develop their proposals for it to be delivered and funded privately following a recent meeting with the rail minister.