Gatwick and Govia to partner and help revolutionise transport for the airport and the region
15 September 2014
The launch of Govia’s Thameslink and Great Northern rail services - the UK’s largest rail franchise - is another crucial milestone in the transformation of rail services to Gatwick Airport.
Brand new Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains, better stations, and more reliable services will connect even more people to the heart of London, Southeast England and key regional centres north of capital.
Govia and Gatwick will enter into a partnership to work together on every aspect of the provision of rail services which will result in a more seamless transition for passengers between rail and air. Govia will appoint a Gatwick Express Passenger Service Director who will work with the airport to design and operate a service that is specifically designed to meet the needs of passengers.
From service strategy and communication to improvements in passenger experience and station enhancements, passengers will start to see the benefits of this partnership within the next year.
Progressive improvements will also greatly improve resilience and mean that Gatwick will be ‘second runway ready’ by road and rail by 2021, whether or not the Airports Commission supports Gatwick’s bid.
The rail improvements which the Govia franchise will help deliver include:
- Brand new Gatwick Express trains in service by 2016
- Brand new Thameslink trains in service by 2018
- New direct connections to Peterborough and Cambridge
- A train to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2019
- Quicker journey times to the West End and City, than from Heathrow
- 15 million people brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick
- 1,000 rail stations within one change, including links to all UK main rail lines, Crossrail and HS2.
Govia will transform the dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service with brand new, high quality trains between London Victoria and the airport. With the new Thameslink trains, rail capacity will be doubled by 2020 which means 10,000 additional seats to the capital every hour, transforming rail services for air passengers, the local community, and commuters.
Gatwick is already the best connected airport in the UK and offers direct rail services to129 stations. By 2019, rail services will be extended to serve 175 stations directly and more than 1,000 stations with one change.
Gatwick Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said:
“The transformation of Gatwick’s rail access is gathering pace and our partnership with Govia and the improvements planned will lead to a better passenger experience – it will provide passengers with more choice and higher quality services to and from more places.
“There will be a train to Central London every two and a half minutes and the overall journey time into the heart of London’s business district will be faster and more frequent.
“By 2025, when a new runway could be operational, capacity and frequency of services will be better still, much more resilient to disruption, and this will benefit not just the airport but the whole region as well.” Gatwick’s transport network is well connected to the North, South, East and West and has a huge reach. Some 3.2 million people live within 30 minutes of the airport and almost 15 million live within 60 minutes. An expanded Gatwick will increase the cost effectiveness of the rail network by increasing the number of people on off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services.