Maria's Monthly Update - August

Unsurprisingly the issue of transport continues to be the central topic of concern filling my inbox. Whilst I continue to work to bring the dispute between Southern Rail & the RMT to a close, I have also been looking ahead to three transport related projects that I am passionate about delivering across my constituency of Lewes.

Infrastructure is key not just to my constituency, but across East Sussex. Each year hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the area to appreciate the stunning scenery and our superb seaside towns. This, together with an ever increasing population, is having a real impact upon our road system. No more evident is this than for those regularly using the A27, which has been crying out for expansion for decades. I was therefore thrilled to be elected Chair of the A27 Reference Group earlier this month, and look very much forward to making real progress in this project.

The frustration facing rail users across Sussex has never been more poignant, however, countless and unforgiving delays and cancellations have been long standing. Although there are many ways that we can, and are looking to address this, one that I have been very happy to support is the creation of Brighton Main Line 2 (BML2). This line, which will open a gateway from Brighton to Stansted or Chelmsford, will massively help to reduce the strain on the current Brighton Main Line, whilst also boosting accessibility for visitors and residents alike.

The third project that I have very willingly thrown my support behind is the call for a second Exceat Bridge. East Sussex County Council have applied for funding through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, and this has now gone forward to Government together with a number of other projects from the region. Congestion on the A259 as a result of the bottleneck that is the current Exceat Bridge again has been an ongoing issue, but one that I am determined to see resolved.

With reports due on both BML2 and the A27 next month, and a response to East Sussex County Councils bid due in the Spring, those interested should definitely ‘watch this space’!