Gatwick claims that with better public transport it will be “road & rail ready” for 2nd runway by 2021

Gatwick has produced a glossy document setting out how it will have fantastic road and rail links in place by 2021, that there will be no road or rail congestion, and everyone will have smoother and easier journeys. And at no cost to anyone. There are some stunning omissions.  Most things that are inconvenient are just left out. They say “Gatwick will increase the cost efficiency in the rail industry by filling off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services. While it is estimated that, on the busiest trains, only 5% of travellers will be air passengers, the overall benefit they will bring will be around £3 billion in additional fare income.”  Gatwick says: “Junction 9 of the M23 … will need to be upgraded to cater for expansion. Gatwick has committed to funding a doubling of this motorway junction capacity.” The only thing Gatwick has said it will pay for.  Also: “we have re-designed the local road network to be no busier than it is today, even after a general increase in demand, which will lessen local noise and air quality effects of background traffic, benefit economic activity and the quality of life of those using and living along the affected roads.”  Really?  Who writes this stuff?


This is the presentation by Julia Gregory, of Gatwick, at the RunwaysUK conference on surface access, on 2nd June 2014. Gatwick R2: Julia Gregory, Head of Airport Development, Gatwick Airport, and transport consultant Hugh Sumner



2nd June 2014  (Gatwick Airport’s website)

Unveiling Gatwick Airport’s public transport improvements, Hugh Sumner, the mastermind behind London 2012’s transport infrastructure, said Gatwick will be “road and rail ready” for a second runway by 2021, with no additional cost to the taxpayer.


[The document only contains 1½ pages of text, but is a marvel of bizarre and unsubstantiated claims and wishful thinking. Definitely worth a look. Read and marvel !]


Transport improvements [none of which paid for by Gatwick – all funded by the tax payer]  include:

– A train to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2019
– Rail capacity doubled by 2020, and nearly trebled by 2035
– New Gatwick Express trains in service by 2016
– Quicker journey times to the West End and City, than from Heathrow
– 15 million people brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick – more than any UK airport
– 1000 rail stations within one change, including links to all UK main rail lines, Crossrail and HS2.
– Planned upgrades to M25 and M23, including smart motorway system

A doubling of rail capacity by 2020 means 10,000 additional seats to the capital every hour, transforming rail services for both air passengers and local commuters. Other planned infrastructure improvements – such as Brighton Mainline re-signalling and junction replacements – will nearly treble capacity by 2035.  These increases in capacity will see more people using Gatwick’s rail station than Charing Cross mainline or Piccadilly Circus today.


Hugh Sumner, senior transport advisor for London Gatwick said:

“Gatwick will be road and rail ready for a second runway by 2021 with no additional cost to the taxpayer. [?]  The ease at which these improvements can be delivered adds yet more weight to the obvious case for a new runway at Gatwick.

“Gatwick already has the highest proportion of passengers travelling by public transport and these improvements will help encourage even more. We want 60% of our customers to use public transport, comparable with the best globally and better than any UK airport.”

More connected

Gatwick is already the UK’s best connected airport by rail, but by 2020 it will connect directly to 175 mainline stations and 1000 with a single change.

This will make it quicker and easier for people to get to the airport, including those living further afield in towns north and west of London1.  For example, within 5 years, new direct services will link Gatwick to Cambridge and Peterborough, with further direct connections to cities like Oxford and to Milton Keynes also planned.

The improvements announced today will bring 15 million people – a quarter of the UK population – to within 60 minutes of Gatwick by 2019 – more than any other UK airport.


A second runway at Gatwick would also generate 22,000 jobs in the local area and the improved public transport links would open these opportunities up to over 1 million living within 25 miles of Gatwick who live in the 20% most deprived communities in England.  These include areas along the south coast and in Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Hackney. [ie. they would have to commute to their jobs, using road or rail].

Brand new, faster trains

Capacity will be nearly doubled through new, longer and more frequent trains.  The first improvements will be new, high quality carriages designed for airline travellers on the dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service to London Victoria in 2016.

Additional new trains will then be rolled out on Thameslink services through Gatwick to London Bridge, Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras/ King’s Cross and beyond.

All these services will arrive in the heart of London faster than services from Heathrow, even after Crossrail is in operation.  Gatwick will link to Crossrail at Farringdon, HS2 at Old Oak Common and Crossrail 2 at Clapham Common in the future.  None of these links require additional investment, unlike the Heathrow’s aspirations to link to HS2.  [This means the taxpayer has already funded them, and Gatwick can get the benefit at no cost to itself].

More punctual, reliable and funded service

Major infrastructure improvements will also help to increase capacity and deliver a more punctual service.  These include new platforms at East Croydon and Redhill and new track to separate fast and slow trains, both helping to reduce bottlenecks, and better signalling technology on Brighton mainline to improve resilience and reliability.

Not only do the public transport improvements place no additional burden on the taxpayer, Gatwick customers would actually help to make them viable by generating £3bn in rail ticket sales each year, and by helping to fill trains in both directions off peak and in the opposite direction to commuters in peak periods.  [Which conveniently ignores the air passengers who are using the services at peak times, and increasing congestion and crowding].


Access to Gatwick by road is already being improved, with a comprehensive upgrade programme for the lower half of the M25 and the M23 in place, including smart motorway use with hard shoulder running.

The airport will be road ready for any additional passengers by 2021 should a second runway be built.  The airport will also ensure that local road networks will be no busier than they are today, even after a general increase in demand.  [How exactly?] This contrasts to Heathrow’s already congested roads and the need to impose a congestion charge.

In the coming months, Gatwick will also announce detailed plans for Gatwick Gateway – which will be one of the world’s most efficient airport transport hubs, getting passengers from platform to all terminals in just 2 minutes. The Government has already committed £50 million to help build a new station at Gatwick.  [The government, not Gatwick].

The plans announced today formed part of Gatwick’s recent submission to the Airports Commission.


Gatwick surface access 15 million people

One of the slides from Julia Gregory’s presentation:  others at  link 


Gatwick faster than Heathrow

 And another, with a certain type of logic …..  map, which is intended to show that most of England, including areas far to the north, will have easier journeys to Gatwick than to Heathrow.  [How about cheap holiday flights also from Luton, Stansted,  Birmingham?]


Key milestones in Gatwick’s public transport improvements:


– Refurbishment of Platform 7, Gatwick Airport helping reduce delays
– Government awards Thameslink rail franchise, which will operate rail services to Gatwick from London and the South-East, to Govia.
– M25 improvements between junctions 5 and 7.
– Oyster Card and contactless payment introduced at Gatwick Airport


– Thameslink and Southern merge services under new Govia franchise.



– New, high quality trains introduced on the dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service to London Victoria.


– Victoria Station improvements
– Redhill Station improvements, including new track and platform to reduce bottle necks on the line.


– New Thameslink trains in operation between Gatwick and London Bridge, Farringdon, St Pancras/ King’s Cross and beyond
– Introduction of longer, more frequent trains – moving from 14 peak hour trains from Gatwick to London to 18.


– Gatwick Airport Station redevelopment completed including new concourse.
– Controlled motorway improvements to M25 between junctions 7 and 8.



– Brighton Mainline re-signalling helping to improve reliability.
– New direct services introduced to Cambridge and Peterborough.


– Smart motorway improvements to M25 between junctions 8 and 10


– Up to 24 trains per peak an hour from Gatwick to London.
– Almost all trains leaving Gatwick made up of 12 carriages.

By 2035

– Further improvements deliver nearly treble capacity from 2012 levels to 45,000 seats per peak hour



About Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the busiest single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for around 35 million passengers a year on short- and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 23,000 on-airport jobs and a further 13,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is 28 miles south of London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express.

Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.





This is the main text of the glossy Gatwick leaflet:


Gatwick road and rail access will start transforming over the coming years through funded
schemes such as Thameslink. Passengers will start to see the benefits very quickly and progressive improvements will mean that Gatwick will be ‘second runway ready’ by road and rail by 2021 whatever the decision by the Davies Commission. By 2030 capacity and frequency of services will be better still.

– All improvements planned or funded requiring no additional taxpayer contribution

– New Gatwick Express trains in service

– Train to Central London every 2.5 minutes

– Gatwick’s rail capacity nearly tripled, frequency of trains doubled

– Directly connected to 175 stations and more than 1,000 stations with just one change

– Connected to every major rail upgrade including Crossrail and HS2

– Shorter journey times to the West End and The City than Heathrow

– No requirement to tunnel the M25, turn it into a 14-lane motorway, or introduce congestion charging.



The transformation of Gatwick will provide people with higher quality services, to and from more places, allowing them to travel with greater ease.

Gatwick is well connected to the North, South, East and West and has a huge reach. 3.2 million people live within 30 minutes of the airport and all of London’s population and almost 15 million of the UK population lives within around 60 minutes.

Gatwick already offers direct rail services to 129 stations from Southampton, through London, to Bedford. By 2035, Gatwick’s rail capacity will be nearly tripled, with the frequency of trains almost doubled. There will soon be a train to Central London every 2.5 minutes and the overall journey time into the heart of London’s business district will be faster and more frequent than that from Heathrow, even after Crossrail is in operation.

The reach of rail services will be extended to serve 175 stations directly, including Oxford, Cambridge and Peterborough and more than 1,000 stations with one change. The dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service will be transformed with brand new, high quality trains between London Victoria and the airport.

Not only is Gatwick well connected today, travel times to key destinations in London are shorter than other airports:

– Westminster and the West End through Victoria and the
Business District through London Bridge in 30 minutes;

– Crossrail at Farringdon, and international services at
St Pancras and King’s Cross in under 40 minutes;

– The financial services centre of Canary Wharf and
the South Bank at Waterloo in 40 minutes.

Journey times to and from the airport from within the UK will
be an average of around 60 minutes compared to Heathrow’s
70 minute average.



Gatwick will be an airport connected to and serving the whole nation.   Gatwick will connect to Crossrail at Farringdon — and the planned Crossrail2 at Clapham Junction — and HS2 services via Old Oak Common. The improved train networks mean that Gatwick is within one change of all the main UK inter-city rail lines, including:

– Great Western (Bristol, Wales and the South West);

– West Coast Mainline (Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow);

– Midland Mainline (Sheffield, Nottingham, and Derby);

– East Coast Mainline (Leeds, Newcastle, and Edinburgh).

Gatwick will increase the cost efficiency in the rail industry by filling off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services.
While it is estimated that, on the busiest trains, only five per cent of travellers will be air passengers, the overall benefit they will bring will be around £3 billion in additional fare income.



Gatwick will help communities address highway junction and
other road improvements where growth will have an effect on
traffic demand Access to Gatwick Airport by road is already
being improved — a comprehensive upgrade programme for the
lower half of the M25 and the M23 is in place. Junction 9 of the
M23, however, will need to be upgraded to cater for expansion.
Gatwick has committed to funding a doubling of this motorway
junction capacity.

Where growth is predicted to have an effect on traffic demand, Gatwick will help communities with highway junction and road improvements where they are needed.

Similarly, we have re-designed the local road network to be no busier than it is today, even after a general increase in demand, which will lessen local noise and air quality effects of
background traffic, benefit economic activity and the quality of life of those using and living along the affected roads.

An airports system with a two-runway Gatwick and a two-runway Heathrow will disperse passengers over a much wider and extensive range of roads and railways resulting in less
congestion, more reliable and more comfortable journeys.





The new state-of-the-art Gatwick Gateway will create a single, simple and swift transport
interchange — a ‘front door’ serving the whole airport.

The new Gatwick Gateway will provide easy access to the heart of the airport. Because of
its easy-to-navigate layout, Gatwick will offer faster connections and a better experience for
passengers and staff whether they arrive by train, bus, car, bicycle, or on foot.

The airport has already undergone a significant transformation, and improvements already
planned mean it will take passengers only two minutes to move from the airport’s gateway to all terminals..


Expanding Gatwick would be best for the UK
economy as a whole. A second runway at
Gatwick will contribute to this rebalancing of
London’s economy, providing linkages and
connectivity to areas that have been earmarked
for regeneration or have capacity for growth
such as Croydon, Lewisham and Bromley.

Expansion at Gatwick would attract new
businesses creating an additional 120,000
jobs across London and the South East. Up
to 22,000 of these new jobs will be created
directly at the airport and the excellent rail
links will connect some of the most deprived
boroughs and towns in England to those jobs.

This will stimulate economic growth in these
locations – around one million people within
the 20% most deprived communities in the
South East live within 25 miles of Gatwick
— and help generate more balanced growth
across the region



True and full costs on surface transport

. A slide from Michele Dix’s (from TfL) presentation   Link 


Potential trip growth on public transport and road


And another slide from Michele Dix, indicating the extra pressure on surface transport, at peak times, from another runway being allowed at Heathrow or Gatwick   Link 





See also

Heathrow and Gatwick set out their rival claims at RunwaysUK conference on airport surface access

The organisation, RunwaysUK, which describes itself as a neutral platform for debate on the rival runway schemes, held an interesting and productive half day conference on surface access to airports. There were accounts by Heathrow, Gatwick, Heathrow Hub and the Thames estuary scheme proposers of their plans for road and rail access, as well as contributions by TfL, Network Rail and others with an interest. It is recognised that adding a runway in the south east would come with immense transport strains on existing transport infrastructure. In order to meet requirements on the amount of passengers (and staff) using the airport to be by public transport, the airports know they cannot depend on road access alone. The pressure of extra passengers on networks that are already stretched, especially at peak times, is recognised – though Gatwick and Heathrow do their best to say their passengers will add little, and merely make rail services more profitable out of peak hours. Vexed issues remain of how much the taxpayer pays for transport services the airports benefit from, and what the cost of added congestion to road and rail services – from millions of extra air passengers being added – would cost the economy.

Click here to view full story…





See also:

Gatwick hopes its claim will be believed that area’s road network will ‘better than or the same’ with 2nd runway

Gatwick airport’s publicity machine is saying the area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway was built at Gatwick. It is claiming its planned infrastructure improvements will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway. And “with no additional cost to the taxpayer.” They want to “create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.” Works on a new junction on the A24 are due to start now and could last 18 months, while roadworks have been ongoing on the A23 near Handcross since 2011. Gatwick’s spokesman, Hugh Sumner, said of the local road network’s ability to cope with any additional strain: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.” But the Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign (GACC), which opposes a 2nd runway, questioned the contents of the transport document. Brendon Sewill, chair of GACC, said: “The document published by [Gatwick Airport Limited] contains 10% inaccuracies, 20% inconsistencies, and 50% wishful thinking.” TfL appreciate the huge strain a new Gatwick runway will place on surface transport networks, which Gatwick is attempting to gloss over.



Level playing field on transport costs vital to proper assessment of runway options – says TfL


By contrast to the Gatwick spin, above, figures from Transport for London (TfL) paint a different picture. The issue of surface access to airports was the subject of the RunwaysUK conference on 2nd June. Michèle Dix, planning director of Transport for London, said that the costs for surface access for each of the runway options must be assessed against a level playing field of criteria.

Michèle said it was vital that estimates by runway promoters reflected that actual needs of transport in the capital. “You need to compare like with like. What are the true and full costs of accommodating this additional demand? If airports are placing a greater demand on the network then we need a greater transport provision.”

TfL predictions are that the extra demand, due to Gatwick, at peak times (per hour) would be 6,800 extra using public transport, and 5,500 extra by road if Gatwick filled a second runway The extra demand, due to Heathrow,  at peak times would be 9,200 extra using public transport and 7,500 extra by road if Heathrow filled a 3rd runway.

TfL estimated that comparable “optimal” investment level of investment needed – the total package of transport schemes required to deliver an optimal level of surface transport access – for Heathrow was £17.6bn, Gatwick £12.4bn (and an Inner Thames Estuary airport £19.1bn).  10.6.2014