The Network Rail Route Study – SHRIMP’s contribution

SHRIMP’s contribution to East Sussex County Council’s Response to Network Rail Route Study is detailed below

“Thank you for the opportunity to feed into the ESCC response. As you will be aware this study is looking at strategy for the next 30 years, so we will ignore any immediate localized issues and consider the long-term implications.

SHRIMP considers that the whole document is a missed opportunity to reverse many decades of stagnation. The core desire of the document is to move people through East Surrey rather than Sussex, and to ensure that Brighton receives a high level of service at the expense of the rest of the county who must, as always, fight over the scraps of whatever capacity remains.

There is:

  • NO strategy for reducing the overly long journey times between East Sussex and Brighton or London, or across East Sussex
  • NO strategy for removing or reducing the vast amounts of time spent going nowhere within those journeys (Willingdon Chord?)
  • NO strategy for easing rail transport connections between East & West Sussex, which would also benefit Brighton through a reduced ‘changing trains’ passenger movement
  • LIMITED strategy for reducing road congestion along the A27 / A259 trunk route by the provision of better rail transport alternatives, with the only notable very long-term option of a Brighton > Bristol service, which may not be achievable.
  • NO strategy to satisfy Gatwick Airport’s Runway2 (unachievable) stated target of significant journey time reduction / improved employment catchment / regeneration to and for East Sussex
  • NO strategy for offering a passenger-friendly alternative travel option in the event of significant disruption to the Brighton Main Line (which should be Sussex Main Line)

All in all we do not think this is a proactive document and it provides little encouragement to a view of improved rail connectivity for East Sussex.