The Brighton Mainline Alliance – a campaign to improve rail connections between Greater Brighton and London – has reached a significant landmark with unanimous support from the area’s local authorities.
Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership is spearheading the campaign which brings businesses and organisations together to lobby the Government to fully commit to funding strategic investment in the Brighton Mainline. The aim is specifically to unlock the Croydon bottleneck.
This investment is vital to drive growth and productivity across the whole region, protect its economic potential.
All 16 Local Authorities in the Coast to Capital area have now joined the Alliance bringing the total number of members to over 70.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said: “We are thrilled to have such strong support for our campaign from businesses, local representative groups and our Local Authorities.
“Our region desperately needs stronger rail infrastructure and by speaking with a unified business voice we continue to make a strong case for investment.”
The campaign is calling for a number of proposed changes, including:
- A bigger, better East Croydon station
- ‘Selhurst triangle’ flyovers
- Lower Addiscombe Road / Windmill Bridge reconstruction
- Improvements to Norwood Junction station
The campaign has also been included in Coast to Capital’s new Strategic Economic Plan – Gatwick 360 – as a transport priority to enhance capacity, connectivity and resilience.
This railway investment is fundamental for businesses and central to the region’s links to London and international connectivity.
Coast to Capital is calling for more businesses and organisations across the area to join the Alliance to add further weight to its strong collective voice.
Councillor Garry Wall, Chairman of the Greater Brighton Economic Board and Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said: “The Brighton Mainline is not just a commuter line; it is an essential transport corridor which is crucial to the economic development of our City Region.
“For too long though there has been severe under-investment in this major transport route, making delays and disruption a daily occurrence.
“Quite simply, enough is enough.
“It is only by joining together and presenting a united front that we can present the case for long-overdue investment in our transport infrastructure.
“Our residents, businesses and communities are relying on it.”
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “Many Crawley residents, including myself, depend upon the Brighton Mainline to get to work every day, and every year the service commuters are forced to endure gets more cramped and less reliable.
“Without this investment, those conditions will keep getting worse and by 2020 transport models show there simply won’t be any space left for passengers to board trains by the time they reach Three Bridges.
“We cannot allow that to happen, that’s why I’m fighting for this investment and I will go on fighting until it’s secured.”