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Henry Smith MP: 300,000 people to benefit from Brighton Line upgrade

Crawley MP Henry Smith, on the upgrade to the Brighton Main Line and its impact on local residents.

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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.

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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

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Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP wishes Crawley’s Gareth Southgate ‘the best of luck’

The Crawley MP sends a message to the England manager, and his team, ahead of England’s first match against Tunisia on Monday 18 June at 7pm.

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Henry Smith MP has wished Gareth Southgate, the England national football team manager who grew up in Crawley, the best of luck ahead of the 2018 World Cup which began yesterday.

Henry said:

“When England’s World Cup campaign begins on Monday, the eyes of the whole world will be on one of Crawley’s own.

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“I want to wish the best of luck to Gareth Southgate – who famously grew up in our town – and his team. Come on England!

“I remember being at a National Citizen Service graduation ceremony just a few days before Gareth was appointed permanent England manager – who knows what our town’s next generation will go on to achieve?”

England’s World Cup campaign kicks off against Tunisia on Monday, 18 June, at 7pm BST.

The England manager attended Pound Hill Junior and Hazelwick Schools, and married at Worth Church. He played 57 times for England, and in 2014 cited a number of his teachers at Pound Hill and Hazelwick as being a driving force on him taking up football.

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Gareth was confirmed as permanent England manager in November 2016, following a period in interim charge from September of that year.

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