Gatwick Airport rail station, run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), has been shortlisted for a national award amid an ongoing programme of modernisation and investment at the international travel hub.
Gatwick has been named as one of the National Transport Award’s finalists in the ‘Rail Station of the Year’ category.
The station – which saw annual footfall exceed 18 million passengers in February this year – has been working with stakeholders at the site, including Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL), to create a more passenger focused, joined up experience from train to plane and back again.
The partnership between GTR and GAL has become so integrated that the organisations have been awarded the BS11000 accreditation – the world’s first international standard for collaborative business relationships.
The station is located in the heart of the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport, with GTR’s Gatwick Express providing a non-stop 30 minute service from London Victoria every 15 minutes.
Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director for Southern & Gatwick Express, said: “I am thrilled that Gatwick has been shortlisted in these respected national awards. Over the last year Gatwick Express has significantly improved the station to enhance the overall travelling experience for passengers. Due to this focus, and our work with a number of stakeholders, most notably Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) and our staff, travellers are now benefiting from a more passenger-focused experience.
“The new Gatwick Express Lounge, which includes a dedicated entrance portal to platforms 5/6, new seating and a 'countdown' clock to the next Gatwick Express service to London are helping to improve the journey for passengers through the station even more.”
The news comes after last week the Spring National Rail Passenger Survey recorded significant double figure improvements for Gatwick Express, with passengers benefiting from the ongoing programme of modernisation and investment.
Overall satisfaction with the Gatwick Express trains increased by 12% and overall satisfaction jumped 9% in the latest survey. Within the results, passengers also said that the way staff requests were handled improved (up 10%), the cleanliness of trains is better, showing a 14% rise, and that the provision of information during the journey had improved, up 14% from the last spring survey.
The enhanced station concourse, new Gatwick Express lounge and introduction of Oyster and Contactless payments on the route have been welcome developments within this.
Stephen MacCallaugh, Head of Gatwick Express, said: “It is fantastic to see the efforts of our frontline staff and management team at Gatwick station recognised with this accolade. To improve passenger journeys – which only continue to increase - in collaboration with GAL and our internal partners, we have implemented a number of solutions, including better signage which matches the airport design; a new waiting area; and better ticketing systems, including the acceptance of Oyster and Contactless payment.
"The introduction of our new fleet of trains has also been welcomed by airport passengers as the new trains provide real-time information, power sockets, free Wi-Fi and are fully air-conditioned. This is in addition to the excellent customer service and support provided by the team on a daily basis."
The awards nod also comes after last month Thameslink’s London Blackfriars was shortlisted in the National Rail Awards in the Station of the Year ‘Major Stations’ category.
The National Transport Awards will be held in London on 12 October.