£150m plan unveiled for Gatwick Airport station
THE Department for Transport has announced that £150 million is to be invested in rebuilding Gatwick Airport station. The DfT said air and rail passengers will benefit from a larger concourse, five new lifts and eight new escalators. It added that the improvements are set to reduce delays and provide easier connections for trains in the south east of England. Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘With 46 million people now using Gatwick Airport every year and 20 million coming by train, it is vital that we make the station more accessible and customer friendly for those travelling through it. The UK’s second largest airport has direct rail links to more than 120 destinations and is an important public transport hub.’
TfL accused of withholding ‘vital’ information after tram crash
MEMBERS of the London Assembly have urged the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to launch an independent investigation into allegations that Transport for London withheld ‘vital’ information connected with the Croydon tram crash of 2016. A motion put forward by Conservative Assembly Member Keith Prince, backed by the GMB, asks the Mayor to appoint investigators. The motion put forward at the London Assembly meeting stated that TfL did not share details of an audit report into how driver fatigue was managed. TfL said it had always cooperated fully with all the investigating bodies after the crash, but has also admitted that it had not provided some details due to ‘human error’.
New fund to make rail more accessible
A NEW £20 million accessibility improvements fund for the rail network is being announced by the Department for Transport today, a year since the launch of the government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy. Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith has welcomed the news. He continued: ‘We know that many disabled travellers report receiving a good service, but that there is still a long way to go until people with disabilities have full access to trains and station facilities. The rail industry and their staff must now get behind all the changes required to deliver the more accessible network of stations promised. We know from the National Rail Passenger Survey that small changes can mean big improvements for all passengers, including those with disabilities. Passengers with disabilities must not continue to experience a mixed response to their requests for help. Operators must ensure that all booked help arrives, and that the correct help is provided.’
Road reopens after repeated bridge strikes
A STREET in Birmingham is open once again, after a six month closure to carry out major repairs to a railway bridge which had been damaged by careless lorry drivers. A steel beam protecting the bridge over Landor Street in Bordesley Green became cracked beyond repair on 9 January after the latest in a long series of collisions. Over the past decade, Network Rail had recorded 32 incidents. A new beam had to be specially made, and Network Rail said the road could not stay open without it, because the main structure of the bridge could have been seriously damaged by the impact of another lorry. The repair has cost more than £100,000.