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Three quarters of residents support Gatwick’s growth plans say airport as one opponent says ‘poll stinks’

The polling was commissioned by Gatwick Airport to gather the views of local residents, following publication of its draft master plan in October.

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Gatwick has released the results of a poll they commissioned but the results have not been welcomed by opponents.

The results according to the YouGov poll say that three quarters of residents (74%) in Sussex, Surrey and Kent who were surveyed support Gatwick’s plans to increase capacity by making better use of its existing runways – with only 14% opposing.

It also says that a similarly high proportion (67%) surveyed also supported Gatwick’s plans to continue safeguarding land south of the airport – in the national interest – in case it is ever needed for a new runway to meet future long-term demand. Only 16% opposed this concept.

But one opponent, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions (CAGNE), has hit back saying: “Consultation and poll stinks of propaganda.”

CAGNE say they have written to the Civil Aviation Authority demanding that the current consultation, being carried out by Gatwick Airport concerning the Master Plan for their 15 year plan, be dismissed as nothing more than a profile-raising stunt to increase share price whilst misleading people in providing little details to allow and informed opinion.

“This whole process stinks,” says CAGNE. “Residents thought that the
airport expansion debate was over, that Heathrow had won, but here we are
with Gatwick Airport seeking a 2nd runway by the back door and deceiving
local people and businesses to the true facts of what it will mean by
Gatwick adding 70-95m passengers and tens of thousand of extra workers to
the congested roads and single railway line that cannot be expanded.”

But Gatwick say that thirty eight per cent of those who supported Gatwick’s plans did so because of the potential increase in the airport’s contribution to the local economy (e.g. jobs, trade, investment); 32% recognised the potential increase in travel connections and 27% because the airport already owned the land required to increase capacity.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport, said:

“These results show that an overwhelming majority of residents in Sussex, Surrey and Kent who were surveyed both support our plans for growth and recognise how important they are in terms securing the region’s economic prosperity and new jobs for generations to come.

“Our draft master plan sets out our vision for the airport’s sustainable growth into the 2030s and explains how it can meet the UK’s increasing demand for air travel and global connectivity. The plan would help us to bolster the national and local economies for future generations and I encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation process.”

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here.

Charity

Gatwick Express team gives cash boost to Crawley charity

The Gatwick Express team has given a local charity a cash boost following a number of staff fundraising initiatives in recent months.

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Maria Cook, Chair of Autism Support Crawley (left) takes delivery of a 'rail ticket cheque' from Gatwick Express managers

Autism Support Crawley, which supports children and adults on the autistic spectrum, has been given a generous donation of £1,931.15 thanks to kind-hearted Gatwick Express staff who have taken part in a series of activities at Gatwick Airport Station, including cake sales, a Christmas jumper competition and bucket appeals.

Station staff were delighted to be able to hand over a cheque to Autism Support Crawley on Tuesday, May 21 to the chairperson of the charity, Maria Cook.

She said:

“We are thrilled to receive such wonderful support from everyone at Gatwick Express.

“Their response to the voluntary work that we do for over 1,200 families across Sussex and Surrey is overwhelming. This will go a long way in helping us to continue to support families and work with lots of different professions to improve understanding, acceptance and inclusion in society,”she added.

Gatwick Express staff were inspired to support the charity after hosting a group from Autism Support Crawley for a ‘Try a Train’ event, during which autistic young people and adults were shown around the station to help them become more familiar and confident when travelling by train, as well as how to buy tickets to support more independent travel.

Gatwick area station manager David Stronell said:

“We’re really proud of all the work we have done to help the charity. The whole station has been involved in the fundraising.

“Since we started supporting the charity, it has sparked a lot of conversations and a lot of staff have talked about having children on the autistic spectrum. It has brought us all together and got people opening up about autism, which in turn has raised awareness for us all,” said David.

Charity trustee, member and service user Charlotte Gover said:

“The amazing donation from Gatwick Express will support so many of our families by enabling us to continue to provide information sessions, conferences, coffee mornings, evening meetings and much needed inclusive family events.”

Staff at Gatwick are now gearing up for their next fundraising events so watch this space!

This month also marks the 35th birthday of Gatwick Express and there have been plenty of activities going on to celebrate the occasion.

For more information, visit:http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/govia-thameslink-railway/pressreleases/gatwick-express-staff-celebrate-35-years-of-operations-2872525

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