Gatwick Coordination Group (GCG) MPs have written to the Rail Minister to warn him that rail services along the Brighton Main Line would go into “complete meltdown” if Gatwick Airport were to be allowed to build a second runway.
As the Government nears a decision on airport expansion following the Airports Commission’s unequivocal recommendation for a new runway at Heathrow Airport last July, MPs have highlighted the inability of the railway to cope with the increased demand that Gatwick expansion would entail.
In their letter to the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP, the MPs highlight:
- “the devastating impact Gatwick expansion would have on the already beleaguered Southern rail service…
- “Gatwick expansion would result in over 140,000 public transport trips to the airport each day. Given the limited public transport options to Gatwick, the vast majority of these will be via rail. To meet this added demand, TfL estimate that the cost of required upgrades is £10bn. There is, however, no plan to deliver this…
- “Gatwick have not committed to contribute a single penny towards any cost, leaving commuters and taxpayers to foot any bill for work that would address the chronic lack of capacity that would result from Gatwick expansion…
- “This summer has exposed once again the poor resilience of the Brighton Main Line and the impact on daily commuters and airport passengers. For many of our constituents, this summer of disruption is only a small sign of things to come should Gatwick be allowed to expand…
- “An announcement of a second runway at Gatwick would be received with ridicule by the long-suffering Southern Rail commuters. It would pile impossible pressure on Southern Rail…”
Chairman of the GCG, Crispin Blunt commented:
“The Brighton Main Line is already operating over capacity and is one of the busiest and worst performing rail lines in the country. This summer’s misery on the railways highlights the vulnerability of the rail network to severe disruption and the need for new capacity to cope with rising commuter demand.
“The independent Airports Commission recognised the weakness of Gatwick’s surface transport links, in particular the single rail connection. Noticeably, Gatwick Airport has not committed a penny to any rail infrastructure upgrade costs.
“The last thing the Brighton Main Line and its users need is extra burden of an ill-conceived Gatwick expansion. Rail services would go into complete meltdown.”
Members of the GCG
The Members of Parliament on the group are now as follows:
• Crispin Blunt MP – Member of Parliament for Reigate (Chairman)
• Sir Paul Beresford MP – Member of Parliament for Mole Valley
• Nusrat Ghani MP – Member of Parliament for Wealden
• Rt Hon Nick Herbert CBE MP – Member of Parliament for Arundel & South Downs
• Jeremy Quin MP – Member of Parliament for Horsham
• Tom Tugendhat MBE MP – Member of Parliament for Tonbridge and Malling
• Henry Smith MP – Member of Parliament for Crawley
• Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames MP – Member of Parliament for Mid Sussex
Full text of the letter at the link below
|Paul Maynard Impact of proposed second runway at Gatwick Airport on already deficient rail services 150916.pdf||3.98 MB|