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Gatwick and Bechtel partner to deliver major construction

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         Gatwick investing £180 million in infrastructure and airfield efficiency

·         Pier 6 extension ensures service levels for record-breaking passenger growth

·         Bechtel appointed to manage construction delivery alongside Gatwick teams

Gatwick has today announced the appointment of Bechtel to deliver the airport’s largest single investment as part of its continued commitment to transform and grow sustainably.

As part of its current five-year Capital Investment Programme, Gatwick will invest a total of £180 million to more than double the size of Pier 6 in the North Terminal. Once complete, the project will ensure service levels and even greater operational efficiency in response to continued record-breaking growth of the airport.

Construction will begin once two major enabling projects are completed:

·         Moving the stand for the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the A380, from its existing location on Pier 6 to a newly created stand on Pier 5

·         Widening and re-aligning a taxiway to enable the A380 to move between the runway and its new stand so as to accommodate its 80 metre wing-span

Gatwick will build the Pier 6 extension under a Construction Management delivery model. Bechtel has been appointed because of its global expertise in delivering construction projects within complex working environments. Bechtel will be responsible for the management of engineering, procurement and construction works and will be integrated alongside Gatwick’s construction and development teams.

Gatwick’s Construction Director, Raymond Melee said:

“This is one of the most important programmes of work we have in our current capital investment programme as it will give a crucial boost to our operational efficiency and help us to grow sustainably. It will be complex, as it is right in the heart of our airfield, but we are experienced in delivering complicated projects in challenging environments at Gatwick. 

“We are grateful for the partnership with Bechtel whose experience will be invaluable. We look forward to our teams working side-by-side as we deliver a world class project while not compromising the airport experience for our passenger.”

Bechtel’s UK Managing Director, Paul Gibbs said:

“This appointment is a positive reflection of our partnership with Gatwick Airport. We know that construction in the middle of a very busy airfield can be complex, so we will be working alongside Gatwick’s operational teams to ensure the work is sequenced carefully and that the passenger experience is maintained throughout”

Gatwick and Bechtel are planning for works to start in 2018.The programme will be run in four phases, the last of which will be the building of the western extension of Pier 6 itself. It is due to be operational by the first quarter of 2022.

Gatwick is more than half way through a £2.7 billion programme of investment to transform the airport at every touch point for passengers (landside, terminals, and airside).

Pier 6 follows major transformation projects such as the re-development of the North Terminal, and the newly constructed Pier 1, as well as major works on Pier 5 to create a second level.

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EXCLUSIVE: Post Office WILL CLOSE whatever consultation says

A source within the Post Office has revealed that despite a public consulation coming up, the decision to close the current location has already been made.

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Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.

A source says the consultation is nothing more than lip service to residents.

Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.

“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council

This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.

In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident,  Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.

She writes:

“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.

I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.

The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?

To park in the Mall you have to pay.

It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.

Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.

To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.

Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.

Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?

Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.

J Elmer”

But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears.  CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:

“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise.  For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.

Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.

However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.

If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”

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