The government has pledged £100 million towards improving rail connectivity at Gatwick airport.
Upgrades planned by the Department for Transport (DfT) include doubling the size of the station concourse, adding five new lifts and eight escalators to improve passenger flow, and widening two platforms to reduce overcrowding.
The DfT says the improvements will reduce delays caused by overcrowding and congestion, resulting in a more reliable, timely service and better connectivity to other destinations.
Annual rail passenger numbers at Gatwick have grown by six million since 2010, with the station not designed for this increase in passengers, many of whom have bulky luggage.
Network Rail will manage the works, in partnership with the DfT. Gatwick airport and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership will co-fund the project to the tune of £37 million and £10 million respectively.
“With 46 million people now using Gatwick airport every year and 20 million coming by train, it’s vital we make the station more accessible and customer friendly for those travelling through it,” said transport secretary Chris Grayling.
“The UK’s second largest airport has direct rail links to more than 120 destinations and is an important public transport hub; we want to see Gatwick airport’s success continue to flourish and ensure that it is ready for even more passengers in the future.”
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick chief executive, added the works would complement improved rail service at Gatwick, which include the introduction of new Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains.
The works will get under way in spring 2020 and will take about two years to complete.