In a first for the region, the new technology will soon trailed with an in-service trial of the bus run by local service provider Metrobus on the company’s Fastway 100 service between Crawley, Gatwick Airport and Reigate. Metrobus expects to follow this with an order for 20 single deck fuel cell electric buses to expand provision of zero emission journeys and improve local air quality.
During the trial, the fuel cell electric powered double decker bus will operate alongside conventional low emission buses on the Route and will be refuelled at the Metrobus depot at Manor Royal Business Park. Metrobus is already running a zero emission electric bus trial on its Route 400 between Caterham, Redhill, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Manor Royal, Crawley and East Grinstead.
Gatwick has an established relationship with Metrobus to support innovation and encourage bus use within the local communities, including many employees working at the airport. Gatwick has also just increased its financial support for local bus services to help ensure that sustainable travel options operate during early mornings, evenings and weekends.
Also highlighted at the Transport Forum was the success of the airport’s new staff car share scheme, which sees staff who give lifts to colleagues given preferential airport parking, in addition to saving on fuel costs. Vehicle emission savings are also recorded and after only two months the scheme already has 400 members who have collectively saved over 20,000 vehicle miles, eliminating 7,009g of NOx and 8,230kg of CO2.
Due to the high level of take up among staff additional preferential parking bays are being added to support the popularity of the scheme.
Alastair Darling delivered the keynote speech at Gatwick’s Transport Forum, which is attended by stakeholders and partners from around the region and celebrates recent successes and innovation, such as the Metrobus hydrogen bus initiative.
The Forum comes just a month after the UK’s current Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, experienced Gatwick’s new airport electric car sharing service – a UK airport first – and a flexible, zero emissions option for getting on and off the airport.
Other transport projects highlighted at the Forum included:
• The Smart Motorway project on the M23 which will deliver improved journey times and reduce congestion by 2020
• The uplift in rail services through Gatwick which means a train now leaves the airport for London every four minutes
Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:
“As an airport we are determined to increase sustainable travel options for our passengers and staff by supporting transport initiatives that help to improve the environment.
“Our new staff car-pooling service is already generating impressive environmental savings. I also expect our electric car sharing scheme to be the first in what will become a wider network across the South East.
“The new hydrogen powered bus service is yet another example of the region’s transport partners leading the way by adopting the latest technology and turning it into a sustainable public transport option.”
Nick Hill, Commercial Director, Metrobus, said:
“We are delighted to be continuing our valued partnership with Gatwick Airport on this exciting project, by working together over many years, we have managed to ensure that Gatwick Airport, it’s workers and passengers enjoy amongst the best bus service connectivity of anywhere in the world and if our current funding bid to UK Government is successful, the airport will soon be benefiting from a zero emission bus service, serving the airport up to every 6 minutes, 24 hours a day”.
NO WAY! A FREE Christmas break abroad AND still save money on your shopping?
In what is fantastic (and perhaps rather surprising) news, it’s been discovered that Christmas shoppers can enjoy a night away in one of Europe’s most popular winter destinations – effectively for free – and still save money on their festive purchases, even after the cost of their flight and accommodation has been deducted.
How’s that possible? Well, with tax-free prices available in most Gatwick stores – and return flights to Dublin, for example, available from as little as £33 – shoppers can make significant savings when they buy and fly, compared with getting their gifts on the high street or online where tax is added to most products.
Plus, many of Gatwick’s retailers – including Reiss, Dune, Fat Face and Superdry – are now allowing customers to buy products from their entire online collections in-store at the airport and still receive the airport discount off their items!
This means that passengers can identify the products they’d like to buy before travelling to the airport, and order them in-store – at the tax-free equivalent price – once they’re in Gatwick’s departure lounge awaiting their flight. They can then have the products delivered directly to their home, or have them waiting at Gatwick for when they get back from their trip.
Buying and flying is, therefore, one of the smartest ways to save money during the notoriously expensive Christmas shopping season.
Take a look at this example that highlights the big savings that passengers can make on their festive finances if they choose to buy and fly this Christmas.
Gatwick to Dublin with Ryanair (South Terminal) – £33.98 return
Wed 5th December: LGW 09:40 – 11:05 DUB
Thu 6th December: DUB 16:55 – 18:20 LGW
You save £158.98 when buying the following five products at Gatwick, rather than on the high street or online.
After the cost of your flights (£33.98) and one night’s accommodation in Dublin (estimated at £50) is deducted, your final saving is £75.
– minus flights – £33.98
– minus accommodation – £50
- Gia Leather Biker Jacket – Apricot (Women’s)
- High Street: £375 | Gatwick: £312.50
- Saving: £62.50
- Sandra Midi Wool Wrap Coat – Camel (Women’s)
- High Street: £329 | Gatwick: £274.17
- Saving: £54.83
- Hero Leather Racer Jacket – Black (Men’s)
- High Street: £199.99 | Gatwick: £166.66
- Saving: £33.33
- ‘One’ Fragrance – 50ml (Men’s)
- High Street: £34.95 | Gatwick: £29.13
- Saving: £5.82
- Dancing Mickey Phone Case
- High Street: £15 | Gatwick: £12.50
- Saving: £2.50
Rachel Bulford, Head of Retail, Gatwick Airport said:
“It’s exciting for Gatwick Airport and our retailers to be able to offer great savings on gifts compared with the high street, at what is the busiest time of the year for shoppers. By ticking everything off the Christmas list at Gatwick, shoppers can not only enjoy a trip away but also make savings on their festive finances even after the cost of their minibreak has been factored in.
“A number of our retailers are also now combining the ease of online shopping with big airport discounts, making buying and flying an even smarter choice this winter.”