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Multi-million-pound Crawley infrastructure improvement schemes

The two “Gateway” projects are part of the £60m Crawley Growth Programme and aim to improve pedestrian, cycling and bus access and facilities as well as create better connectivity between the railway and bus stations.

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Areas included in the exciting designs for new-look public space in Crawley

Proposals for the £8.3million Crawley Eastern Gateway and £5.3million Station Gateway projects will soon go on display in a series of public exhibitions.

The schemes are part of the £60m Crawley Growth Programme which will ‘unlock’ jobs, business space and home building in the town through major infrastructure improvements.

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The two “Gateway” projects aim to improve pedestrian, cycling and bus access and facilities and create better connectivity between the railway and bus stations.

The Eastern Gateway scheme includes improvements to public space and connectivity to support key development opportunities at the Town Hall, County Buildings, Telford Place and Crawley College and includes the public areas in the eastern half of The Boulevard, Exchange Road, the southern end of Northgate Avenue, College Road including the roundabout, and Southgate Avenue, up to and including the junction with Station Way.

The Station Gateway Scheme extends from Friary Way, along Station Way, connecting with Southgate Avenue. Its aims include improving the connectivity between an improved and re-developed rail station, the bus station and improved town centre facilities, incorporating a dedicated left-turn for buses from Friary Way to Station Way and improvement in bus waiting facilities.

The Crawley Growth Programme is being delivered by a major partnership of public and private organisations, including the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council, Metrobus, Gatwick Airport Limited, Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID) Company. The Gateways projects are also being delivered in partnership with the Arora group and Network Rail.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said:

“We have identified that the county needs significant investment in new infrastructure to help stimulate economic growth and Crawley is a key growth location.

“These innovative and exciting proposals aim to have a positive impact on public areas in the town by improving connectivity. I urge people to go along to one of the exhibitions and see for themselves what’s being proposed.”

Crawley Borough Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said:

“I am delighted that proposals for the regeneration of the Eastern Gateway and Station Gateway have been released.

“The Eastern Gateway is an incredibly busy area of the town and these proposals will not only improve accessibility, but enhance the overall look and feel of the area, attracting more investment into the town.

In addition, the Station Gateway improvements will provide a better welcome into the town from Crawley train station. I look forward to hearing what residents have to say about the proposals.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital, said:

“This series of exhibitions is a fantastic way for the general public to gain insight of the extensive work which has gone into developing an innovative vision for the future success of Crawley. A tremendous effort has been made by partners to improve the infrastructure of the area which will unlock future prosperity.”

Exhibitions are being held at:

• Crawley College, College Road, 9:30am to 1.30pm, 6 June;

• Crawley Town Hall, The Boulevard, 1pm to 5pm, 12 June;

• County Mall, Crawley, 2pm to 8pm, 14 June;

• Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, 11am to 2pm, 16 June.

Further details on how to have your say will be available online from the 4 June at www.westsussex.gov.uk/esgateway

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Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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