Posted 16th March 2022 | 3 Comments

Gatwick Express to take off again

Non-stop Gatwick Express services will return from 3 April, as air travel begins to recover in the wake of the Covid lockdowns. Govia Thameslink Railway withdrew its branded airport services on 30 March 2020, a week or so after the first lockdown had started. It is hoped that the removal of the last travel restrictions on 18 March will boost demand still further.

Gatwick Express general manager Stephen MacCallaugh said: 'We’re absolutely delighted to bring back our non-stop Gatwick Express service from Sunday 3 April as we look forward to a busier summer season including for international travel.'

Possible reprieve for threatened railway structures

The Department for Transport has published a report identifying Historical Railways Estate structures which are potentially suitable for cycling and walking, including bridges, tunnels and embankments. The active travel charity Sustrans produced the report, which concludes that 26 structures are likely to be useful for use as part of the National Cycle Network or local cycling and walking routes, 24 others 'might be useful' for local cycling and walking routes but are not considered in current plans, while a further 25 'are unlikely to be useful', and could be demolished or infilled to reduce maintenance costs.

The report only considered the structures as useful for 'active travel', but did not take into account the possibilities of using them for railways in the future.

The report is only a pilot study, but Commons transport committee chair Huw Merriman said: 'This is a welcome reprieve for more than 50 of our historic railway structures. These structures work well with local cycling and walking plans – a valuable contribution to active travel. The mystery is why these historical structures were sentenced to infilling or demolition in the first place – we should think about preservation before destruction.'

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet Essex

    Good to see Gatwick Express coming back. About time.

  • Michael T., Reading

    If this govt of the past Dozen Years would get their finger out... we could have the Very Short 5km chord from LHR T5 to the GWR (near Langley/Slough) and we could also have already had the Paddington, LHR T2/3, LHR T5, Slough, Reading... Heathrow Express as a through service instead of a Paddington to LHR and back to Paddington.
    The future service pattern of the Heathrow Express would be Reading, Slough, LHR T5, LHR T2/3 (east), OOC (old oak common), Paddington.
    Reading could be the GWR interchange to all points west.
    If certain locations are found to have a significant number of travellers, the Heathrow Express could have a 2,3,4+tph from Swansea, Bristol, Plymouth, (via Bath, Swindon, etc) and Cheltenham / Oxford... Reading and the usual stops to LHR and Paddington.
    The current So Called Heathrow Express is nothing but a very over priced 'shuttle service' between PAD - LHR - PAD.

  • Steve, Dorset

    No mystery, Highways don't want to pay for their maintenance. It was of course a typically cynical move by the Gov to transfer liability to Highways then claim it is a matter for them to deal with.