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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: Christmas Card Competition a great success

This year, I once again launched my annual Crawley Christmas card competition, writing to every primary school in town inviting local pupils to submit a design to adorn my official MP Christmas card.

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Whenever I visit Crawley schools it’s always fantastic to see the range of artworks on display, and this wonderful quality has been shown again in the entries I’ve received in this year’s card competition.

It’s clear that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Crawley! The entries have really captured the feeling and spirit of the festive season; from vivid drawings of Father Christmas and his sleigh, to Christmas trees and snowmen.

It was extremely difficult to select a winner and the runners-up, and I look forward to congratulating them in person to thank them for their efforts in the coming weeks.

As a token of my gratitude I’ll be taking the winner, runners-up and their families on a personal tour of the Houses of Parliament.

I would like to thank every child that took the time to send me their card design, and wish them and their families a very Merry Christmas!

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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