Friday, January 04, 2008

Norman Baker and the Uckfield to Lewes line

A friend of mine once attended a meeting addressed by the late David Penhaligon in the days when he Liberal transport spokesman. Someone asked what Liberal transport policy was and Penhaligon replied: "1. Keep the Truro-Falmouth branch open."

These days we have wider horizons and grander job titles, but our shadow transport secretary Norman Baker also has a constituency railway project close to his heart: the reopening of the line between Uckfield and Lewes.

The Argus reports that Network Rail has signed a contract with East Sussex County Council agreeing to carry out an investigation into whether the line could be reopened. Norman Baker is quoted as saying:

"I've campaigned for more than 20 years to reopen this line. To me it's a no-brainer.

"At the moment the Lewes to London line is at maximum capacity every rush hour. This would create an alternative route that might remove some of the pressure."
There is more about the line and its prospects of revival on the Wealden Line site, from which I borrowed this photograph of the disused trackbed at Barcombe Mills.

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