UK: Infrastructure manager Network Rail has submitted a planning application for the modernisation of Gatwick Airport station, which is to be undertaken in partnership with airport operator Gatwick Airport Ltd, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Transport.

The aim is to reduce congestion and improve the passenger experience at the station, where usage has risen from 7·5 million to 19 million passengers/year in the past 20 years. The proposals intended to accommodate forecast rail growth up to 2036 include:

  • Almost doubling the size of the concourse;
  • Providing 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;
  • An ‘attractive’ new roof structure.

This would ‘reduce congestion and give passengers a much improved experience, including a more seamless transition between airport and station’, said Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport Ltd. ‘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.’

Crawley Borough Council is expected to determine the planning application in spring this year, enabling the funding parties to make a final decision on the project in the autumn. Construction would then begin in 2019 for completion in 2022.