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Gatwick Airport station platform 7 launched

The new platform at Gatwick Airport railway station has been officially opened by transport minister Baroness Kramer.

The £53m project was completed by Network Rail over the Christmas period and seeks to unlock capacity at the station to meet rising demand.

Over a third of Gatwick Airport passengers already arrive by rail, and this number is expected to increase by 22% by 2020.

Baroness Kramer said: “Gatwick makes a vital contribution to the UK economy and we must make sure facilities are upgraded for the benefit of passengers. That is why we have committed a further £50m towards the complete redevelopment of the station. I am delighted to open this new platform and thank staff for their work during horrendous weather.”

Tim Robinson, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, said: “Managing growth is a challenge, but a good one to have. Gatwick Airport is significant not just as an important station for passengers, but an important part of the UK’s infrastructure. We recognise that and this £53m investment is crucial to keep trains flowing and improve the experience of passengers from all stations in the region.”

Chris Burchell, Southern’s managing director said: “Running around 2,300 train services per day over some of Britain’s most congested track is always a challenge. This major investment will improve the flexibility and reliability of the network in this critical section of the Brighton Mainline. As a result, passengers should see an improved travelling experience to accompany our other efforts to drive up service quality on our trains and stations.”

Stewart Wingate, London Gatwick chief executive, said: “London Gatwick is already the best connected UK airport by rail and this upgrade will benefit the broad range of people that the airport station attracts, from tourists to the business traveller. It will allow us to compete even more for passengers and airlines wanting to come to London and the South East region.

“This is the first step in our vision for a further major redevelopment of the airport station – the Gatwick Gateway. We recognised that with over 14 million people arriving or departing by rail that an investment had to be made to improve the passenger experience in and around the airport.”

First Capital Connect managing director David Statham said: “The Brighton Main Line is one of the busiest routes in the UK and the new platform at Gatwick is fantastic news for passengers. This part of the line can be frustrating particularly during disruption, and this work should mean fewer delays.”

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