The UK’s Network Rail has submitted a new planning application to Crawley Borough Council to upgrade the station at Gatwick Airport.

Submitted in partnership with Gatwick Airport, Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Transport, the new proposals aim to reduce congestion and improve passenger experience at the station.

Currently, the station serves around 19 million passengers per year, a significant increase from its 7.5 million commuters 20 years ago.

“The proposals will transform passenger experience, support airport growth and improve journeys.”

Network Rail South East route manager John Halsall said: “The proposals will transform passenger experience, support airport growth and, along with other upgrades of the Brighton Main Line – the £300m reliability fund and our proposals for Croydon – improve journeys and provide a boost to the local, regional and national economy.

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“Our proposals for the station are still being developed in detail and the submission of the planning application is an important step forward in this process.”

The proposed improvement works at the station include increasing the size of the rail station concourse, the installation of eight new escalators and five new lifts, as well as enhancing accessibility by building four new stairways.

Construction of a new roof structure, widening of platforms 5 and 6 and creating better connections to the south terminal are also part of the proposed work package.

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These proposals are intended to accommodate forecast rail growth until 2036.

Gatwick Airport chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson said: “The new Gatwick station is set to reduce congestion and give passengers a much improved experience, including a more seamless transition between airport and station.”

Following the approval of Crawley Borough Council, the funding parties will make a final decision on the project, expected to be made later this year.

The construction works are planned to begin next year and are estimated to be completed in 2022.