In a statement, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty commented:
“I am really proud to have been invited to meet delegates from Visit Britain’s flagship two day event, ‘ExploreGB.’ The event offers a fantastic opportunity to reinforce our city’s enduring brand as a destination on the global stage. When in administration, Greens oversaw a rise in visitor numbers, increasing from 8 million to 11 million in three years. In May 2014 the Office of National Statistics rated Brighton the ‘UK’s most popular seaside resort.’ We want that success for our city to grow.
“So further to yesterday’s announcement from the Department for Transport, it has been incredibly disappointing to see that we won’t have better rail infrastructure in the form of a Brighton Mainline 2 or improved transport links. The facts are that the current infrastructure is letting our city down- the latest survey of 1,000 passengers on the Southern rail network shows that 1 in 5 of respondents have lost business as a result of poor performing trains.(2) We desperately need investment in rail infrastructure in order that we can continue to attract visitors, conferences and grow our local economy. Sustainable public transport is also the only way through our current transport and air pollution problems.
“We will now seek to work with all parties on the city council to request an audience with ministers, to ask the Government to reconsider their position and to continue to lobby to for this necessary infrastructure. Investment in better public transport is not an option, but a necessity for our city.”