The UK government has announced a £150 million investment to upgrade the rail station at Gatwick airport.

The funds will be used to double the size of the station concourse, as well as to widen two platforms to reduce congestion, and to add five new lifts and eight escalators.

Gatwick said that the works would “reduce train delays caused by platform overcrowding and congestion, while also improving passenger experience by providing easier connections to other destinations”.

The upgrade project will begin in spring 2020 and take around two years to complete, with works being “sequenced to ensure minimum disruption”.

The airport said that the number of people using the station each year has grown by xis million since 2010, and that “Currently the station is not designed for the high volume of daily passengers, often carrying bulky luggage”.

The works will be managed by Network Rail, in partnership the Department for Transport, Gatwick Airport Ltd, and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, the last two which are co-funding the project with £37m and £10m respectively.

Commenting on the news Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“With 46m people now using Gatwick Airport every year and 20m 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.

“We want to see Gatwick Airport’s success continue to flourish and ensure that it is ready for even more passengers in the future. Through this £150 million investment, we will deliver vital upgrades to boost the station’s capacity and provide better, seamless journeys for all.”

In 2017 Gatwick announced a five-year, £1.15 billion investment plan, with projects including the extension of Pier 6, reconfiguration of stands, and additional car parking capacity for both long and short-stay customers.