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Thousands of Covid test kits help keep Southern and Gatwick Express safe

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Thousands of Covid-19 testing kits are being offered to staff at Great Northern, Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express to help prevent the spread and give added reassurance to staff and passengers returning to the railway.

From yesterday, 31 May, at-home lateral flow testing kits will be made available at stations, depots and offices across Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the UK’s largest rail network which covers 11 counties, from East Sussex to Norfolk.

Mark Whitley, GTR’s Head of Safety & Health, said:

“We take the safety of our staff and the public extremely seriously. For months we’ve had test centres open for our colleagues. Now, the move to self-test kits will continue to help stem the spread of Covid-19, giving added reassurance to staff, as well as passengers as they return to the railway.”

To reassure people travelling by rail, GTR sanitises every one of its 2,700 carriages daily and uses long-lasting viricide across its network, which kills coronavirus for weeks at a time.

Other measures include:

  • Modern trains have air conditioning which replaces the fresh air in each carriage every 6-9 minutes
  • Alerts show busy trains in online journey planners such as National Rail Enquiries, where passengers can also subscribe to journey alerts and see information on busier services
  • A new ‘live maps’ service, available from the top right-hand side of each train service’s websites (Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern), shows the service status of each route
  • Weekly Covid safety checks are carried out across trains and stations, looking at cleaning, passenger information, social distancing and the wearing of face coverings
  • Over 1,000 touch-free hand sanitisers have been installed at stations since the start of the pandemic

Independent laboratory results show that Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern trains are testing negative for Covid-19.

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Watch amazing time lapse as new Town Hall comes to life in Crawley

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A time lapse video of the new Town Hall has been released by Crawley Borough Council, condensing 10 months of construction into just 100 seconds.

The video, which can be viewed here, shows the empty site transformed into a striking nine-storey building. Crawley Borough Council will occupy the bottom 3.5 floors and rent out commercial space on the upper floors.

The name of the commercial space will be The Create Building. The available floor space is between 14,000 sq ft and 77,000 sq ft and Crawley-based SHW are marketing this on behalf of the council. For more information visit shw.co.uk/crawley

The landmark building, which is expected to be ready for occupation in February 2022, is part of a wider regeneration scheme at the eastern end of The Boulevard in Crawley town centre.

The scheme also includes 273 flats (of which 109 will be affordable), a new public square, public realm improvements, ground floor commercial space for a restaurant/café and district energy centre. It is a joint development between Crawley Borough Council and Westrock.

The entire redevelopment is transforming a major town centre opportunity site. The new Town Hall will:

  • Secure the council’s finances through the ability to generate new revenue from commercial office tenants whilst achieving significant savings on the council’s current running costs
  • Provide a better, fit-for-purpose building for customers, staff and councillors
  • Contribute to achieving the council’s wider ambitions around affordable housing, post-Covid economic recovery, and tackling climate change.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “We are facing enormous challenges as a town: financial, as we are forced to keep doing more with less; social, as we struggle with a housing crisis decades in the making; and environmental, as we need to move quickly to zero-carbon to avoid climate catastrophe. The redevelopment of the Town Hall site is a vital part of Crawley’s efforts to meet all three challenges.” For more information visit investcrawley.co.uk/town-hall

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