Gatwick says it will be ‘road and rail ready’ for a second runway by 2021

Transport hub at Gatwick Airport (submitted).
Transport hub at Gatwick Airport (submitted).

The area’s road network would be left ‘better than or the same’ if a second runway is built at Gatwick according to airport bosses.

As part of its bid to be selected for expansion by the Airports Commission in 2015 the airport revealed its planned infrastructure improvements this week, which it says will make it ‘road and rail ready’ by 2021 for a new runway.

Hugh Sumner, Gatwick’s senior transport advisor who worked on the London 2012 Olympics as director of transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority, said they hoped to create a regional transport hub to help drive economic growth across the entire area.

A second runway at Gatwick and a third runway at Heathrow are two of the options shortlisted by the Davies Commission on airport capacity in the South East of England.

It is due to give a final recommendation to central Government after next year’s General Election.

Gatwick has previously said that a new runway could be delivered by 2025.

Asked about road network concerns Mr Sumner said: “Our commitment is we are going to leave the road systems working better than or the same in 2050.

“If you have a better road system coming through, better junctions and better [traffic] flows then a second runway is the obvious choice.”

He told the County Times they had done extensive traffic modelling to show the road network surrounding the airport had ‘a huge amount’ of capacity and resilience.

Rail improvements are also planned on the Gatwick Express service and trains in and out of central London.

Mr Sumner added: “Gatwick will be road and rail ready for a second runway by 2021 with no additional cost to the taxpayer.

“The ease at which these improvements can be delivered adds yet more weight to the obvious case for a new runway at Gatwick.

“Gatwick already has the highest proportion of passengers travelling by public transport and these improvements will help encourage even more. We want 60 per cent of our customers to use public transport, comparable with the best globally and better than any UK airport.”

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