Build Arun­del Chord

Rail (UK) - - Letters -

When I was in the South­ern Re­gion Plan­ning Of­fice at Water­loo in 1970, a project be­ing com­monly dis­cussed was the con­struc­tion of the ‘Arun­del chord’, link­ing the Mid-Sus­sex Line with the West Coast­way Line in the Wor­thing and Brighton di­rec­tion.

It would be sit­u­ated on open coun­try (now seem­ingly oc­cu­pied with green­houses), and a rel­a­tively low-cost project giv­ing sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits and op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing:

Restor­ing a rail link be­tween Hor­sham and Brighton that was sev­ered in the 1960s when the di­rect line was closed.

Al­low­ing the Vic­to­ria-Sut­tonHor­sham ser­vice to be ex­tended to Wor­thing and Brighton. This would give new travel op­por­tu­ni­ties for the peo­ple of south­west Lon­don, Sur­rey, Hor­sham, Arun­del and Wor­thing/Brighton (whose di­rect bus link to Arun­del was cut many years ago).

It could po­ten­tially at­tract some Brighton and Wor­thing pas­sen­gers away from the over­crowded Brighton Main Line. Many of those who change to go west at Three Bridges, Gatwick Air­port, East Croy­don or Clapham Junc­tion could po­ten­tially ben­e­fit.

Its avail­abil­ity as a low-cost di­ver­sion­ary route when en­gi­neer­ing works close por­tions of the Brighton Main Line. BML2 seems stalled again - this would not be a re­place­ment for that, but could be quick to im­ple­ment and be avail­able years be­fore BML2 could be­come fully op­er­a­tional.

Af­ter 20 years of rail­way traf­fic growth, I won­der why this scheme has never been pro­gressed. Is it be­cause no one is re­spon­si­ble?

Network Rail is paid to man­age what it has. South­ern (GTR) is paid to run on the lines that ex­ist. Where is the cre­ative, busi­nes­sori­ented mind that would pick up such projects and run with them? Should the next South­ern-type fran­chise be for 15 years and in­clude this com­po­nent? In any event, it should be in Con­trol Pe­riod 6. Martin Ker­ridge, Brighton

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