Wanted: Alternative Route To London

A government minister has called for the old Lewes-Uckfield line to be re-opened following Friday's rail chaos.

Norman Baker, Lib-Dem MP for Lewes and a long time champion of the Lewes-Uckfield line, said the delays re-inforced the need for a second route up to town.

Emergency engineering work in the Balcombe Tunnel led to commuters facing two-hour delays on their journeys home with replacement buses running between Three Bridges and Haywards Heath.

Mr Baker said: "We've got one major line between London and the South Coast and it is particularly vulnerable at Balcombe Tunnel and Balcombe Viaduct, both of which are two-track.

"Clearly when an incident like this occurs the inconvenience to passengers is very significant and this re-inforces the need, which I have long argued for, for another line between London and the Sussex coast, namely the re-opening of the Lewes-Uckfield line."

The line was closed in May 1969.