In response to a recent consultation by Network Rail on its Sussex Area Route Study, the Society submitted the following comments:
“These are the comments of the South Downs Society, the national park society for the South Downs National Park. The Society has nearly 2,000 members and its focus is campaigning and fund raising for the conservation and enhancement of the landscape of the national park and its quiet enjoyment.
The Society is committed to the promotion of improved access to, and enjoyment of, the park’s special qualities by more sustainable means of transport, including the train. We are also conscious that there is a statutory duty on public bodies and utilities to have regard to the park’s designation and the social and economic wellbeing of its local communities.
To these ends the Society supports measures which will facilitate recreational and other access to, within and across the national park by rail as a more environmentally sustainable from of transport than the private car.
In particular, in terms of the current consultation, the Society supports calls for the reinstatement of a Lewes to Uckfield line and the construction of an Arundel chord. We believe that these measures will not only provide much needed relief and diversion capacity for the London to Brighton line but serve to facilitate a range of additional trips serving the national park.”