Major proposals unveiled to upgrade Gatwick Airport station

The transformation of Gatwick Airport station has moved an important step closer after a planning application was submitted for a major redevelopment.

Network Rail, in partnership with Gatwick Airport Ltd, Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Transport, has submitted proposals to reduce congestion and improve passenger experience at the station, which serves 19m passengers a year, up from 7.5m 20 years ago.

The proposals submitted to Crawley Borough Council aim to reduce crowding at the station, improve passenger flow and provide better connections between the railway station, airport terminals and onward travel destinations.

The proposed improvements, which will accommodate forecast rail growth up to 2036, include:

  • Almost doubling the size of the rail station concourse
  • Eight new escalators, five new lifts and four new stairways to improve accessibility and passenger flow
  • Widening platforms 5 and 6 to reduce overcrowding
  • Better connections to the south terminal with improved passenger information
  • A new roof structure.

John Halsall, Network Rail manager director for the South East route, said: “The proposals will transform passenger experience, support airport growth and, along with other upgrades of the Brighton Main Line - the £300m reliability fund and our proposals for Croydon - improve journeys and provide a boost to the local, regional and national economy.

“Our proposals for the station are still being developed in detail and the submission of the planning application is an important step forward in this process.”

Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer, Gatwick Airport, said: “The new Gatwick station is set to reduce congestion and give passengers a much improved experience, including a more seamless transition between airport and station.  More than a million local commuters and business people also use the station each year and will benefit from this fantastic example of the public and private sector working together to deliver a world class transport hub. 

“The new station also complements the transformation of train services at Gatwick.  Later this year trains will start leaving Gatwick for London with tube-like frequency - every three minutes - and new direct services will start to Cambridge and Peterborough for the first time ever.”

Jonathan Sharrock, chief executive at Coast to Capital, said: “Gatwick Airport is the most important driver of our regional economy and the railway station is the sixth busiest in the whole of the UK outside London. Investing at Gatwick should be a top priority for the region and the UK economy as a whole. We are delighted to support this project - the new station will benefit passengers and staff at the airport and the many highly productive businesses based in Gatwick and Crawley.”

Crawley Borough Council will determine the planning application in spring 2018 and funding parties will make a final decision on the project in autumn 2018. All being well, construction should start in 2019 with the project set for completion in 2022.

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