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13 October 2010, 14:15 | Updated: 13 October 2010, 14:19
West Sussex County Council today welcomed the announcement that a major upgrade of Gatwick Airport Railway Station has been given the green light.
The County Council played a major role in lobbying for the scheme and securing the financial support.
The £53 million scheme will deliver a range of benefits for passengers, including:
· A new through platform to remove the existing ‘bottleneck’ in the Gatwick area for services on the Brighton mainline.
· Improved passenger circulation on platforms five and six through the replacement of existing stairways with escalators and the installation of a new lift.
· Refurbishment of the concourse area to provide better facilities for passengers.
· Upgrading of the track and signalling to improve the performance and reliability of trains passing through and travelling to and from Gatwick.
The improvements will be funded jointly by Network Rail and Gatwick Airport. Gatwick’s contribution has been made possible by West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council agreeing to the use of developer contributions for this purpose.
Lionel Barnard, Deputy Leader of West Sussex County with responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: "This is great news and something that we have lobbied long and hard for.
“It will create a greatly improved transport interchange that will increase capacity through Gatwick and have significant benefits to passengers, businesses and the local economy.
“Gatwick is a major gateway to the country with millions of people travelling through it every year. The improvements will not only make the journey to Gatwick easier for train passengers but we hope will also encourage more people to use public transport instead of the car, meaning less congestion on our roads.”
County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “I am also delighted that despite difficult economic times, the finance has been found for this essential piece of infrastructure.
"It is an excellent example of what can be achieved when many organisations work in partnership.
“I am very pleased that the County Council has been able to play a major role in ensuring the scheme can go ahead."