The work on the next phase of the £150m Gatwick Airport station transformation in the UK will commence on 17 May.

The work will implement innovative ways of working within the social distancing safeguards, which are in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This project is expected to reduce overcrowding, boost accessibility and minimise passenger delays.

On 17 May, Platform 7 will close to make way for the new station concourse construction. The other platforms will be operational during the construction.

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This station caters to the passengers on Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express, and is an important part of infrastructure for the airport and the economy.

The upgraded station will feature wider platforms, improved step-free access, five new lifts and eight new escalators when it opens in 2023.

Network Rail is managing the project while Costain, along with the Department for Transport and Govia Thameslink Railway, will deliver the project.

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Network Rail regional investment director Paul Harwood said: “We’ve found innovative ways of progressing with our work during this pandemic, ensuring the continued safety of our contractors and at the same time hitting our important project milestones.

“We have now finished diverting power cables and testing the places we’ll be piling for new foundations, and we’re on target to start our work on platform 7 on May 17.”

UK Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “I am pleased to see an important milestone reached on this project, which is testament to the hard work of all the teams involved who have come up with innovative ways of working in these challenging times.

“Once complete, the expanded, modern station will be an impressive gateway to Global Britain, improving accessibility and services for passengers.”

In 2018, Network Rail submitted a new planning application to Crawley Borough Council to upgrade the station at Gatwick Airport.