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Road, Rail & Access Issues

Aviador

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Gatwick praised for public transport links

Gatwick Airport has been praised for the quality of its public transport links. Campaign group Railfuture carried out research at airports across the UK to assess their rail, bus and coach links and the information that is provided to passengers about transport options.

The report highlighted substantial differences between airports, with Gatwick identified as one of the leading hubs because of its ‘excellent all-round provision’ of public transport options. Railfuture spokesman Trevor Garrod said: ‘Gatwick is a good example of best practice, with the rail station connected to the airport. Other rail connections have to be made via a bus or coach link, which is less satisfactory.’


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Gatwick monorail to reopen ahead of schedule

Gatwick Airport's monorail, which transfers its passengers between the north and south terminals, is set to reopen ahead of schedule. New carriages have already been lifted onto the refurbished rail line, which will be completed one month ahead of schedule in July.

The monorail has been closed since September 2009 and the carriages, tracks and stations have all been revamped. Testing of the new service will be taking place over the next few months.

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£53m Gatwick train station upgrade announced

A £53m scheme to redevelop Gatwick Airport railway station has been unveiled. It involves creating a new platform and refurbishing the concourse, as well as upgrading the track and signaling. Network Rail said the scheme would provide passengers with more reliable and punctual journeys and easier access to and from the airport.

The project will be joint funded by Network Rail and Gatwick Airport. Construction work is due to start next autumn and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Network Rail said it was the busiest airport station in the UK last year.

Stewart Wingate, the airport's chief executive, said: ‘I am pleased that the station - a critical gateway to our airport - will now be developed to match the improvements we are making to the airport itself.’

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Website update for Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express has re-launched its website gatwickexpress.com, with the aim of making it easier for travellers to book and plan their journey. A spokesman for the company said: ‘The new website provides more up to date information and extra functionality that makes it more interactive and customer friendly, with the translated content reaffirming our position as a leading international brand.’

An e-ticket option allows customers to print their Gatwick Express ticket at home (up to 23:00 the day before travel) so they can walk straight onto the train where the onboard staff will scan the barcode on their ticket. There is also an m-ticketing facility that sends the ticket directly to the passenger's mobile phone (again up to 23:00 the day before travel).

The website also features new ticket options such as Anytime Day Returns and group tickets including 4-for-2 and 3-for-2 plus a 5-for-3 option, and even gives travellers the option to purchase a season ticket online between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport. Travellers can now also use a UK Railcard when they book via the website

The new site has real time Gatwick Airport flight arrivals and departures information and more detailed airport terminal data, to help customers to plan onward travel. It also has a built in translation tool for French, Italian, German and Spanish speaking travellers, the most commonly spoken languages for foreigners arriving into Gatwick Airport.

The Gatwick Express website offers an ongoing 10% discount, so it is always cheaper to buy online at gatwickexpress.com.

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Gatwick airport is asking that people take extra time to get to the airport this evening after several rail services to the airport have been cancelled. The airport has reported that roads are expected to be busier than normal because of the extra traffic caused by the delayed and cancelled rail services.
 

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Gatwick boss dismisses ‘Heathwick’ plan

Gatwick boss Stewart Wingate has rejected a Government plan for a high-speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick to create a virtual hub as a possible solution to lack of airport capacity in the South-East. Speaking to ABTN, he said ‘any discussion on capacity is a good discussion’, but the idea of a Heathwick hub is too expensive.

He said: ‘The estimated cost of linking Gatwick to Heathrow via a high speed dedicated rail service is about £5 billion. Surely you would invest that £5 billion into transport infrastructure to get greater benefits elsewhere.’

Mr Wingate also said it would be impractical in operational terms. He said: ‘From a convenience perspective as a passenger, to have this virtual hub separated by notionally a 15-minute journey, seems extraordinary and not competitive versus other hubs around the world. That’s before you even think about the logistics of how on earth would you transfer luggage from one airport to another within such a short connecting time.’

He added that he thought Heathwick was a ‘concept that was floated’, but ‘we don’t expect to see it go much further’.

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Aviador

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I couldn't agree more with Mr Wingate. There are far more pressing needs in other parts of the country without spending 5 billion pounds on things like this. 5 billion pounds could build a 'supertram' network in a further ten UK cities for starters.
 

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Planned rail closure means no trains between London and Gatwick for three Sundays in a row

No trains will run between London and Gatwick on the next three Sundays – 25 February, 4 March and 11 March - and only a limited service will run between the airport and Brighton during the same period.

David Bennett, Surface Transport Operations Manager, Gatwick said:

Passengers planning to travel to or from Gatwick Airport by train during any of the next three Sundays should plan their journey carefully and allow extra time. Information about other ways of getting to and from the airport – including by car, bus, coach or taxi – is also available on the Gatwick Airport website and our new passenger app.“

On these dates, trains to and from London will start and terminate at Redhill. Buses will replace trains between Redhill - Gatwick - Three Bridges. A further bus replacement service will run from Redhill to Three Bridges also calling at Earlswood, Salfords, Horley and Gatwick.

Rail services to and from the south coast will start and terminate at Three Bridges. Two Thameslink trains per hour will run between Brighton and Gatwick. These services will call at Three Bridges to allow London-bound passengers to transfer to replacement buses to Redhill.

Passengers using the replacement bus services should allow more time for their journey.

National Express Coach services are also adding additional capacity during the rail blockade.

The planned closure is needed to allow Network Rail to replace a key junction at Earlswood near Redhill as part of a £300m track modernisation programme which will also see work take place between Gatwick and Three Bridges over the May bank holiday weekend.

From May this year, new direct Thameslink services will start from Gatwick to both Cambridge and Peterborough for the first time, and will also see a train leaving the airport for London with tube like frequency – every three minutes.

Further information about getting to and from Gatwick Airport can be found on Gatwick’s website here, or on the Gatwick passenger app which is available to download now from both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
 

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Gatwick launches world first incentivised car-pooling service for airport staff
  • Staff who give lifts to colleagues are allocated preferential airport parking via an innovative smartphone app
  • Each shared journey is validated so that vehicle miles and subsequent reduction in emissions are tracked and recorded
  • Users can also significantly reduce their fuel costs and even “afford a new car” with the money save
Gatwick has today announced it is the first airport in the world to launch an innovative car-pooling service that offers staff preferential parking spaces and tracks their associated reduction in vehicle miles and emissions in real time.

The service, in partnership with journey sharing platform Faxi, collects data from each shared journey - via a smartphone app - and uses it to incentivise drivers with access to preferential parking bays in their existing car park.

Over time those drivers who regularly transport the most passengers to and from work will be given the opportunity to upgrade to a staff car park of their choice. These car parks are located up to one mile closer to the terminal buildings, so the scheme could significantly reduce commuting time by up to 40 minutes each day.

The Faxi app provides drivers with information showing other staff on their route and the potential diversion from their normal route (in minutes) for pick-up. This allows drivers to fill their vehicle with passengers, minimise their environmental impact and gives the best chance of being upgraded to their choice of car park.

According to research, only around 10% of people in UK regularly share their journeys with another traveller1while the average UK worker will spend 400 days of their life commuting2. However, research also suggests that nearly half of all people in the UK would share a journey with someone they know3.

The new scheme’s environmental benefit supports the airport’s commitment to operate and developing in a sustainable way in order to achieve its ambition to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. Gatwick has also recently launched a new 100% electric car sharing service, in partnership with Bluecity cars, giving people a convenient, zero emissions travel option for getting directly on and off the airport.

Gatwick Airport and other businesses on the Gatwick campus directly generate 24,000 jobs in the region, which equates to one in every 12 jobs in the Gatwick Diamond area.

For more information about Faxi, visit: www.faxi.co.uk.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Car Parking, Gary Wallace, said:

"I am pleased to announce Gatwick is partnering with Faxi as the airport continues to expand its portfolio of sustainable travel and parking schemes for both passengers and staff at the airport.

“Faxi allows our staff to not only save money and share travel costs but also reduce their car emissions and traffic on local roads at the same time, which once again demonstrates Gatwick’s commitment to being the UK’s most environmentally friendly airport.”

Faxi CEO and Founder, Tony Lynch, said:

“It's fantastic to be operating incentivised car-pooling at the massive Gatwick Airport campus. Via the unique Faxi smart phone app, Gatwick commuters can now verify they are car-pooling and be upgraded to better parking, reducing their commute by up to an hour a day. Our technology, combined with Gatwick's commitment to car-pooling, could result in the world's largest verified carpool network saving millions of driven miles.”

Robin Kirk, Security Officer at Gatwick, said:

“I’ve been participating in the Faxi trial over the past few months and carpool with 3 others - we're all on the same team so we work and travel together. We share the driving, taking it in turns. It's been working quite nicely, sharing the petrol costs has been notable, so much so that I've been able to afford a new car with a lower insurance premium. We're happy that we're able to use the preferential parking spots. Especially where we parked today, nearer the terminal building, makes a big difference.”
 
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