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London Gatwick welcomes Government funding for the redevelopment of Gatwick Rail Station

5-Dec-2013 3:19 PM

UK's London Gatwick welcomed (04-Dec-2013) the UK Government’s announcement that it will contribute GBP50 million of funding to kick-start the redevelopment of Gatwick’s rail station – The Gatwick Gateway. The airport said the announcement, made as part of the revised National Infrastructure Plan, "recognises Gatwick’s important role in UK aviation and the need to ensure a world-class railway station for both existing and future passengers". The Government’s funding commitment follows a letter from the Independent Chair of the Airports Commission Sir Howard Davies to the Chancellor, which included a series of recommendations on improving surface access to enable passengers to more effectively access new and existing routes. The airport noted that of the 35 million passengers using Gatwick each year, 14 million arrive or depart by rail. This connectivity will be further improved upon completion of a GBP53 million project to improve platform capacity in early 2014 and with the introduction of the Thameslink franchise later that year. The National Infrastructure Plan also outlined a number of further measures for surface access at Gatwick, including accelerating a Network Rail study into the Brighton Mainline, incorporating the Gatwick to London route on a planned trial of smart ticketing and including access to Gatwick in the Highways Agency study on local motorways. Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “This new funding is a welcome and positive first step toward delivering the new Gatwick Gateway rail station. We have worked well with Network Rail on our current rail improvement project and are looking forward to working with them, the Treasury and the Department for Transport to leverage this initial investment. Gatwick currently has the highest percentage of passengers accessing the airport by rail of any UK airport and as we continue to grow the number of global routes served by legacy, charter and low cost airlines, the package of measures announced today will help us deliver a world-class passenger experience for Britons and visitors alike.” [more - original PR]