ORR has worked alongside Network Rail throughout the £250m project to ensure that the station meets the expected standards for passengers.
There have been significant upgrades, including a new second concourse, an expanded existing concourse, new customer information systems and a dedicated passenger assistance point. In addition, eight new escalators and five new lifts have been installed to improve accessibility.
Each of these elements - as well as things we may take for granted such as lighting - required inspection, ensuring issues were quickly addressed to enable authorisation.
ORR authorises railway stations like Gatwick Airport as part of its duty to authorise new, major, upgraded or renewed infrastructure and rolling stock.
ORR statistics indicate that almost six million entries and exits were made at the station between April 2021 and March 2022.
Steve Fletcher, Deputy Director of Engineering and Asset Management at ORR, said: “Gatwick Airport station is a vital transport hub and we have been working closely with the team at Network Rail to ensure the newly upgraded station is completed safely and to the standard passengers deserve.
“ORR plays a vital role in enforcing common rules and standards on the nation’s railway infrastructure. We’re pleased to have played our part in the opening of this upgraded station.”
Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail Sussex route director, said: “I’m delighted to see the upgraded Gatwick Airport station open today, providing the millions of passengers that use the station each year with a fantastic and fit-for-purpose station that supports the ambitions of London Gatwick and the significant growth in passengers expected in the years to come.
“This has been a highly complex and challenging project and I am proud of how hard our teams have worked in close conjunction with our partners to deliver a station upgrade that makes journeys to the airport much easier for all passengers and encourages people to ditch the car and travel by rail, the cleanest and greenest way to travel.
“This project is not just for those making their way to the airport, the work benefits passengers right across the route by giving them quicker journeys and a more reliable timetable. I hope passengers enjoy this newly upgraded station.”