Rail and local roads

If the Government selects Gatwick and we progress our application for a second runway, a full and detailed planning process will take place. This will include further consultation including local road impacts during and after construction.

Scroll through the areas below which answer specific issues that people have already asked us about and may be useful at this stage: 

Investment in transport to support a second runway 
The Gatwick Gateway 
Rail access  
Gatwick train station 
Thameslink and Brighton mainline routes 
Gatwick’s east-west rails links 
No local road congestion charge 
Buses 
Improving the M23 
Gatwick’s impact on local roads 
Gatwick traffic through Povey Cross 
The impact on Balcombe and Ifield Road 
Closing Lowfield Heath Road 
Using the Crawley North Western Relief Road 
Crawley sewerage treatment works

Investment in transport to support a second runway

Plans for integrated transport

Our strategy was developed with the involvement of Network Rail, Highways England, Transport for London and the Local Highways Authorities in Surrey, East and West Sussex and Kent.

These plans take into account schemes that will be delivered before a second runway opens. They also include road improvements around the airport, delivered as part of the second runway.

The plan takes full account of growth in airport-based employment, increased air passenger numbers and growth in background travel.

We have stress-tested our proposed highway network with higher than expected demand (up to 2050) and it is still robust and delivers what is required. Highways England has reviewed the proposals and agrees.

Network Rail has confirmed that Gatwick's second runway demand can be accommodated with committed and planned infrastructure without additional investment.

We have pledged to fully fund nearly £800m of local road and rail improvements to support a second runway at Gatwick, including:

  • £353m Main Highways (broken down: A23 - £120m, M23 Junction 9 improvements - £95m, North Terminal access - £78m, South Terminal/New Terminal access - £60m)
  • £50m Railway Station – additional to the £30m Gatwick is funding as part of the committed £120m upgrade to the railway station
  • £166m for landside APM to new terminal
  • £152m for car parking enhancements
  • £10m Local Highway Development Fund – supporting local authorities to deliver wider road improvements where Gatwick is one of several contributors to traffic impacts
  • £11m for local roads diversions to connect local communities (Balcombe Road, Ifield Road and local access junction off the diverted A23)
  • £10m for Airport roads (helping keep airport operational traffic off public roads)
  • £30m for additional Interchange facilities at the Gatwick Gateway (including coach station, car rental, cycle facilities)

The Gatwick Gateway

A core part of our strategy is the Gatwick Gateway - a new, integrated transport interchange offering world-class facilities, a new coach station and an improved passenger experience.

Gatwick Gateway is focused on a £120m redevelopment our railway station, located next to the South Terminal. 

Gatwick Gateway will provide a major transport hub for the whole of the South East, improving access to the national rail network and creating a first class facility for both airport users and non-airport users.

The Gatwick Gateway will also include new facilities for staff cycling, a new car rental centre and more prioritised parking spaces for electric and low emission cars.

We are working with our bus and coach operators to develop new and improved routes, fund improvements and support sustainable services via the Gatwick Gateway.
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Rail access

Committed and planned improvements delivered by Network Rail by 2025 will provide sufficient capacity for airport and non-airport demand until at least the 2040s.

Network Rail’s independent analysis confirms our own modelling that shows there is enough capacity for the highest background growth and R2 demand beyond 2040. The Airports Commission’s own analysis endorses this. 

Network Rail confirms that no additional investment in capacity is needed for demand from a second runway.  R2 would add only an extra 1% to high peak hour demand on commuter services into London.

Gatwick’s rail passengers, spread over the whole day, makes more efficient use of available train capacity.

Committed and planned investment in the Brighton Main Line, Thameslink corridor and North Downs Line will bring more frequent and faster rail journeys to Gatwick.

Revenue from Gatwick passengers helps make improvements more affordable and better value for money.

New rolling stock for Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains from 2016 will bring more capacity and a better passenger experience.
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Gatwick train station

£120m of funding to redevelop the rail station was announced in December 2014 as part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Gatwick Airport is contributing £30m.

Construction works will commence in 2017 and will be completed in 2020.

A new concourse will be combined with new stairs, lifts and escalators to all platforms and other improvements to the passenger experience.

From 2015 the London Oyster card will be accepted for journeys to and from Gatwick, including on Gatwick Express.  Other fares will be simplified when Govia Thameslink, the new operator of the Thameslink Route, merges the Southern and Thameslink franchises.
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Thameslink and Brighton mainline routes

The £6.5bn upgrade to the Thameslink route will result in improved performance, new connections, added resilience and a doubling in capacity serving Gatwick. This work has already begun, and will be complete by 2019

 New signalling, new trains, new connections and new trackwork makes the Thameslink Programme as transformational as Crossrail, using new technology to handle higher service frequencies and more passengers.

Gatwick has well-rehearsed and coordinated contingency plans with the rail industry – during recent ‘weather events’ the Thameslink Route was one of the key transport networks that kept operating.
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Gatwick’s east-west rails links

Gatwick already has direct services to Reading and strongly supports the upgrade of the North Downs Line, including full electrification, increased frequency, reduced journey times and more capacity.

Gatwick supports the long-term aspiration for a direct rail service to Kent, for which a second runway would strengthen the case.

Surrey County Council and Gatwick are supporting Network Rail as part of the Wessex Route Study, to demonstrate the wider economic benefits from investment.

Expansion at Gatwick strengthens the business case for investment through increased revenues and demand spread throughout the day.
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No congestion charge

Contrary to some media reports, Gatwick airport does not believe a congestion charge is needed to manage traffic to the airport.

Gatwick already achieves a high public transport usage by passengers and aims for this to be the best in the UK with a second runway.

We also believe a congestion charge specifically for the airport could have a negative impact by pushing traffic out into surrounding areas. 

It is not West Sussex County Council policy to use congestion charging as a measure to address local air quality or in Air Quality Management Areas.
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Buses

Gatwick invests in local bus routes, supporting services such as Fastway, and making transport available where/when our staff need it most.

Gatwick is the only UK airport to offer 24-hour access by public transport seven days a week.

With a second runway, Gatwick would spend around £2 million per year on these and similar initiatives.

This will enable us to increase our bus and coach mode share for passengers to over 10% by 2040 and to over 20% for employees.

Our strategy for the Gatwick Gateway will enhance interchange for airport and non-airport users, supporting 60% public transport usage for airport passengers.
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Improving the M23

Gatwick will fully fund a doubling in capacity at Junction 9 of the M23, creating improved routes into an expanded airport, better access to Crawley and relief to Junction 10 of the M23.

We are proposing two routes to the airport from Junction 9, separating traffic and making the network more reliable in case of an incident that could disrupt access.

Local communities will benefit from better access to Horley and Crawley with the road improvements associated with a second runway.

Gatwick traffic in the peak hour on the M23 northbound towards London is less than a quarter of total traffic, leaving three lanes for local commuters and other traffic.

Modeling our network with higher than expected demand up to 2050 concludes our plans deliver a robust solution.  Highways England has reviewed our proposals and agrees, as does the Airports Commission.

The M23 Smart Motorway scheme is already committed for completion by 2020, increasing capacity by around 30%, ensuring enough capacity for background growth and airport growth.
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Gatwick’s impact on local roads

Gatwick’s strategy focuses investment in strategic roads so that they have capacity for growth and avoids traffic using unsuitable local roads.

Where changes to local roads directly affected by the second runway masterplan are required, Gatwick will fully fund the changes, including the A23, Balcombe Road and Ifield Road.

We will commit around £400m for improving local roads, motorway access and public transport links that benefit the region, not just the airport.

We have also promised a £10m Local Highway Development Fund for Highway Authorities to use for wider improvements where Gatwick’s second runway traffic growth is one of a number of contributors to highway impacts.
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Gatwick traffic through Povey Cross

Our proposed improvements include enhancement to Longbridge Roundabout to add capacity but we have not enhanced Povey Cross Road as we don’t want to risk encouraging additional traffic into Charlwood and the local area.

Our focus is on allowing local traffic to move freely, separate from airport traffic and we will move some long stay car parks away from the part of the airport closest to Povey Cross.

The majority of vehicles accessing the airport already use the A23 or M23 and our strategy is to increase capacity on these main roads to avoid airport traffic using alternative routes not designed to cater for this traffic.

Our proposals for North Terminal Roundabout mean it will no longer be necessary for traffic to use Longbridge Roundabout to get onto the southbound A23.

We have responded to local consultation and will create routes to the airport from the M23 and A23 that are easy to follow by improving signage.
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The impact on Balcombe Road and Ifield Road

Our proposed local road network is designed to provide local connectivity and access but deters traffic and airport-related trips from using local roads as a through-route.

Balcombe Road will become part of the new airport, so we will recreate Balcombe Road on a new alignment and create a more attractive rural route for local traffic that is safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
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Closing Lowfield Heath Road

Our local roads strategy is specifically designed to avoid diverting traffic through sensitive residential areas such as Charlwood and responds to local community comments received during consultation.

Lowfield Heath Road and Bonnets Lane will become part of the new airport, so will need to be closed.

We will ensure that access between Charlwood and Crawley or Manor Royal is preserved for local traffic via Ifield Road.
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Using the Crawley North Western Relief Road

Expansion at Gatwick does not require the proposed Crawley North Western Relief Road. However, if West Sussex County Council takes the scheme forward, our local road strategy has been developed to accommodate it. (Richard - are we supportive?)
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Crawley Sewerage Treatment Works

Crawley Sewage Treatment Works will need to be expanded in the 2020s to meet local population growth irrespective of whether development at Gatwick goes ahead.

Gatwick’s masterplan for a second runway retains the Crawley Sewage Treatment Works and ensures it can be accessed from the diverted A23.

There is enough space next to Crawley Sewage Treatment Works to provide for both growth in local population demand and for growth at Gatwick. There are also no wider strategic issues with the sewage network or water supply network. All that is required is proper lead time to plan and provide the requisite infrastructure.
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