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Work begins on construction of new Gatwick station building

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Building work started on Gatwick Airport’s huge new railway station concourse on Sunday, as the first train arrived at one of the platforms that has been rebuilt.

The £150m project has seen many changes at the station already this year, including the closure of platform 7 and now its return, while demolition work will soon begin on the footbridge and platforms 5 and 6, which are now out of service.

All this is working towards the creation of a much bigger, brighter and better station, with much improved accessibility for passengers, all by 2023.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“I am pleased to see this project reach another important milestone, which will transform this vital transport hub as people return to our railways.

“Once completed, the expanded modern station will be an impressive gateway to Global Britain, improving accessibility and enhancing the passenger experience to and from Gatwick.”

MP for Crawley Henry Smith visited the construction site on Monday and said:

“During such dark days for airports and fewer people currently travelling by train due to Covid-19 it may seem strange to celebrate upgrading Gatwick’s rail station but now is the moment to build back better ensuring that as our economy recovers it does so with the infrastructure to support people and businesses. Investing to expand platform capacity and enhance the passenger experience at Gatwick is timely and I welcome this commitment.”

Network Rail Southern region’s investment director Paul Harwood said:

“We know that fewer passengers are travelling by train or plane, but we are continuing to invest for the future. By 2023 passengers arriving at Gatwick will see wider platforms, with more space for them, more lifts and escalators and the crowning achievement – a new concourse over some of our tracks.

“Today marks a big step towards that aim and passengers will see more big changes as the days go by.”

Angie Doll, Managing Director of Southern and Gatwick Express, said:

“It’s great to see such progress being made at Gatwick station that will make a tremendous difference to customer experience when traveling to and from the airport by rail.

“This significant investment will complement the multimillion-pound scheme of station improvements we’re delivering for our passengers across our entire network.”

Martin Harris, Coast to Capital Board Member said:

“As part of our Build Back Smarter, Stronger, Greener plan, we are supporting Crawley with a plan to grow and evolve the UK’s most COVID-19 impacted town into a more economically diverse and dynamic place. Gatwick is the beating heart of our area and the effects of the pandemic have impacted the aviation sector and supply chains severely. As we look towards recovery, the Gatwick Airport Train Station redevelopment will play a more important role than ever before in providing efficient and safe transport links to London, the coast and international markets. We are pleased to hear that works are continuing safely and look forward to seeing how the improvements will help rebuild the economy.”

Platforms 5 and 6 have now been taken out of use and will be demolished and rebuilt to give passengers more room. They will reopen in their newer, brighter, wider and more accessible state in May 2022.

In the meantime work has begun on building the new concourse, which will sit over platforms 5, 6 and 7 and act as a new link for passengers changing trains at the station. The existing concourse will remain but will be substantially remodelled over the next three years.

The next milestone will come this Christmas period, when only two platforms will be in use and an amended train service will be in operation. Timetable information will be available nearer the time.

Gatwick

New COVID-19 screening service launches at Gatwick Airport

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Gatwick Airport andExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Limited) has today announced the opening of a brand-new COVID-19 screening centre. 

The site, located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal, will offer a fast and accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test.  It will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, from Monday, 30th November.  

The facility is for air passengers who may require a valid, negative COVID-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel, with passengers needing to check with travel providers that the test meets the specific requirements destinations ask for. 

It will also help those who may simply want extra assurance that they are not currently carrying the virus. 

The facility could also, with any necessary amendments, satisfy requirements of the Government’s expected “test and release” post arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations.  Anyone with recognisable COVID-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility. 

Air passengers and any employees based at Gatwick Airport will be charged a subsidised rate of £60 to use the screening service, whilst it will also be available for the general public for £99. 

A group discount is also offered, with up to 30% off for groups of four or more, for those who are having the full priced test.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year.  Our new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance.  We are pleased to be subsidising the price for our passengers and any staff based at Gatwick so they are compliant with current destination requirements that many of airlines including easyJet, British Airways and TUI fly to.

“Our industry has been decimated by the pandemic and, while we welcome the anticipated  “test and release” scheme from the Government, we want to see an internationally agreed pre-departure testing regime, based on existing risk criteria, to replace the current uncertainty of quarantine and patchwork of testing approaches which currently exists across Europe.  A truly international approach would safely open up most of the UK’s travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus.”

ExpressTest Founder Nick Markham said:

“We are delighted to be Gatwick airport’s official screening partner.  We launched ExpressTest to give people peace of mind, whether that’s enabling

travel through our Fit to Fly certificates, or providing the reassurance needed to safely visit friends and family abroad or within the UK.  In the next couple of months we aim to have more than 30 locations operating across the UK, with the ambition of giving the British public the confidence to go about their daily lives in these uncertain times.” 

According to a press release, ExpressTest is delivered using the latest gold standard PCR equipment that is fully CE-IVD certified and manufactured to the highest possible standards, and tests are carried out by specially trained screening practitioners.  

The lab-analysed test results will be emailed or texted to customers typically the next day, with airline passengers advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure time, as a precaution.  Those who screen negative will be emailed a Fit to Fly certificate that is authorised by a doctor, along with their test result, however passengers will be responsible for checking with their travel provider as to whether this document is accepted before booking the screening service. 

Bookings open from Friday, 27th November, with the first test available on Monday, 30th November.

To book a test, people will need to visit www.expresstest.co.uk and select a date and time.  Customers will then be sent a QR code which they must bring with them to their appointment, along with their passport or employee ID. 

Payment will be taken during the booking process. 

Opening hours are 08.00 to 20.00 and customers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to appointments.

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