Investing in the railways

This week Network Rail announced that they have secured Government funding for the next stage of proposals to upgrade a key part of the Brighton Main Line, which could benefit the hundreds of thousands of passengers – many Crawley commuters – using this service each day and allow more trains to run in the longer term between London, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges and the Sussex coast.

Following confirmation of funding from the Department for Transport, Network Rail can now put together detailed designs for the project, which would see the construction of a series of new grade-separated junctions north of East Croydon station to remove the ‘Croydon bottleneck’ where several routes to and from central London converge.

These extra tracks and flyover junctions would benefit the around 300,000 people using this service on a daily basis. The new junctions are like motorway flyovers and will replace the existing flat junctions, where trains have to wait at red signals to allow others to pass in front, causing congestion, delays and frustration.

Last year I hosted an event in Parliament on the issue of improvements to the Brighton Main Line; working with organisations including Gatwick Diamond Business and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure we have the infrastructure our area needs in order to succeed in the years and decades ahead.

I look forward to seeing these proposals in detail and to participating in the next meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Southern Rail later this month. £300 million has been pledged by the Government to boost infrastructure resilience and reliability on key routes in the south east of England.

This includes recruiting 300 additional maintenance and operations staff, the deployment of Digital Railway technology to help reduce delays, as well as major work to renew and upgrade the railway itself.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
01293 934554/020 7219 7043