Gatwick Airport Station breaks ground on next phase of upgrades as Express service is relaunched
Upgrades designed to transform Gatwick Airport Station have hit another milestone today (December 8), as Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris breaks ground on the next stage of works.
Major building works will today begin on the second concourse. In contrast to the current entrance, this new superstructure will tower above existing platforms, doubling the space for passengers and creating an eye-catching gateway to the airport.
This is the latest step of the upgrades currently taking place at the station with plans to create wider platforms and improve pedestrian flow - making journeys from the train to the plane easier, generating a more reliable train service and delivering significant benefits for rail users, commuters and airport passengers from across the world.
To ensure state-of-the-art accessibility and connections for all passengers, once complete, the station will also have more escalators, lifts and stairs.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Gatwick is one of the UK’s busiest airports, and as we look towards a post-recovery future for aviation and rail, we need a station capable of meeting the growing demands of rail users, commuters and airport passengers from across the world.
“The upgrades being made to the station today will help the UK build back better from the pandemic, benefitting millions of people and helping to create new jobs and opportunities in the local area.”
Network Rail Southern Region managing director John Halsall said: “Gatwick Airport is a key gateway to the UK and this investment means people will get a fantastic welcome to the country.
“As more people return to air and rail travel, it’s so important we give them a first-class passenger experience. By creating a new and more accessible station we’re doing just that and we’re so excited to reach this milestone in its transformation.”
Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport with the number of people using the station each year growing by 6 million between 2010 and 2019. The upgrades will enable the station to handle the increasing volume of daily passengers, often carrying bulky luggage.
Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport Ltd, said: “Work starting on the new station concourse means we’re edging closer to offering passengers a completely transformed railway station with a seamless transition into the airport, with more lifts, escalators and a doubling in the total size of the concourse.
“The new station will also complement huge improvements to rail services at the airport in recent years which together encourage more people to use public transport – a sustainable form of travel.”
Stephen MacCallaugh, General Manager of Gatwick Express, said: “We’re really pleased to reinstate our non-stop Gatwick Express service. Gatwick Airport plays a vital part in driving economic growth in the South East and we’re proud to support its recovery.
“This fabulous station upgrade is essential to accommodate the huge numbers of passengers we see in normal times, at the same time improving accessibility and the punctuality of trains passing through for airport users and commuters along the route.”
On track to open its doors to millions of passengers by 2023, the improved station will be vital to the UK’s plans to build back better saving over 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions by using low carbon concrete and encouraging passengers to arrive to the airport by train, easing congestion on local roads.
This comes as Gatwick Express relaunches their service next week helping to reunite friends and family ahead of the Christmas period.