A leading transport expert has highlighted the significant benefits better rail links could bring for the millions of passengers travelling to and from Stansted Airport during a speech at the airport.
Jim Steer, founder and director of global transport consultancy, Steer Davies Gleave, said that a new rail line between the airport and London Liverpool Street could reduce journey times to less than 30 minutes during his keynote address to delegates attending the 14th Stansted Airport Transport Forum.
He said that improvements would also benefit the East of England and its economy by enabling faster journey times and new direct services to key destinations in the region such as Canary Wharf, Cambridge, Colchester, Norwich and Ipswich.
Mr Steer said:
“A new rail line between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport and onwards to the east and north would significantly improve access times to around 26 minutes to the airport. London - particularly east London - will see significant economic and population growth over the next twenty to thirty years. The same is true of the corridor between London and Cambridge. To support this growth, we urgently need a strategic plan for housing and transport infrastructure. Rail infrastructure development, centred on Stansted, makes good sense and would increase the airport's competitiveness and have wider economic benefits for the East of England region.”
Mr Steer’s comments came in the same week as the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s announcement to form a taskforce to study options for improving London-Stansted-Cambridge rail links.
Stansted Airport’s Managing Director, Andrew Harrison, said:
“Unlike other London airports, Stansted has spare runway capacity today and significant room to grow in the future. It is vital that faster rail services are delivered between London and Stansted to ensure this potential is realised as soon as possible.”
Over 100 community representatives, local councillors and public transport professionals attended this year's forum which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Feb 19. The annual event showcases the work that the airport and its partners undertake to improve surface access links to the airport and sets future targets to maintain Stansted’s position as the number one major airport in the UK for public transport usage. Speakers included Jim Steer; Stansted Airport's Managing Director, Andrew Harrison; Essex County Council's John Pope; Andrew Camp from Abellio Greater Anglia; and Tomas KreiJ, Head of Commercial Services at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.
January traffic increases by 28%, the highest monthly rate since 2004
Stansted Airport has passed the 20 million passengers a year milestone for the first time since 2009 as a bumper start to 2015 saw annual traffic figures increase by 13.3% over the previous 12 months.
The total number of passengers using the fastest growing major airport in the UK increased to 20.3 million as Stansted served over 170 destinations across Europe and North Africa in the year ending January 2015. The top five most popular destinations during the year were the key cities of Dublin, Rome, Barcelona, Milan and Madrid.
January traffic numbers grew by over 28% as over 326,000 more passengers passed through the airport compared to the same month last year to make it the busiest January at Stansted since 2007 and the highest monthly rate of growth since April 2004.
Andrew Harrison, Stansted’s Managing Director, said:
“To be the UK’s fastest growing major airport and pass the symbolic 20 million passenger milestone just four months after breaking through the 19 million a year figure is a fantastic achievement and a clear demonstration of the popularity and importance our passengers place on the extensive route network we offer with our airline partners at Stansted.
“Stansted serves over 170 destinations and provides more scheduled routes into Europe than any other UK airport. It’s this connectivity that continues to drive our rapid passenger growth along with the strength of our thriving catchment area at the heart of the growing and increasingly successful London-Stansted-Cambridge economic corridor.
Celebrating Stansted passing the 20 million passenger milestone (from left to right)
Samantha Johnson, Stansted Airrport Customer Experience Manager;
Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport Managing Director;
Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer;
Farrah Ahmed, Stansted Airport Customer Experience Manager.
“We recognise it’s really important we provide quick, easy and regular access to major cities across Europe so I’m delighted we now offer at least four flights a day to key destinations including Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Rome, Madrid and Dublin. This connectivity makes the airport even more attractive, especially to business travellers who rely on convenience, choice and flexibility.
“Our focus now is to build on this success and continue to support the growth ambitions of the region by offering more choice and attracting new airlines, including full service scheduled carriers and the long-haul routes that the region demands and value so highly.
“In the coming year we will complete the £80 million project to transform the terminal and passenger facilities, deliver an £8 million upgrade to the Satellite One departures area as part of our strategy to attract new airlines, open a new Escape passenger lounge as well as launch a £500,000 education centre for local schools in what promises to be a very exciting and defining phase of Stansted’s continuing evolution.”
Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said:
“As London Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair is pleased to continue to deliver millions of passengers as we carry 17 million Ryanair customers to and from Stansted this year and grow by 12%. Our 6 new London Stansted routes to Clermont, Cologne, Deauville, Edinburgh, Glasgow International and Ponta Delgada (Azores) are booking fast, while we also have extra flights on 40 other routes.
“UK visitors and customers can choose from a total of 130 exciting Stansted summer routes, including our Edinburgh and Glasgow services, which we are increasing from 3 to 4 times daily, in response to phenomenal demand from UK customers, visitors and business travellers.”
Back by demand, Check-in @ Stansted is set to return on Thursday 18th June 2015
In June 2014 we saw the launch of Check-in @ Stansted, a business, travel and tourist event brought to you by the Stansted Airport Chamber of Commerce and in collaboration The Sowerby Group Limited.
The event really took off in the first year, so much so that demand has resulted in the return for a second journey with sponsors such as Stansted Airport Limited (MAG), Uttlesford District Council, Herts and Essex Observer and the Diamond Hangar onboard.
This event is truly unique in terms of its location and offering. 2015’s event will take place amongst executive jets within the Hangar at the Diamond Hangar, London Stansted. The Diamond Hangar is home to some of the most prestigious executive aircrafts and is opening its doors for the first time for all to see.
The exhibition offers businesses the chance to promote their brands, recruit potential staff, network with like-minded people, engage with the community, gain new business, find suitable office space (if you are looking to relocate), meet influential business people (other exhibitors and attendees) and much more.
Exhibitor and sponsor packages can be found online at www.check-in-stansted.com.
Karis Parker from the Corporate and Events team at Quendon Park Hall, part of The Tabor Group, was one of the first to sign up using the 10% discount deal. She said
“We attended the first and very big event held on 5 June 2014 at the Diamond Hangar, Stansted Airport. With an exhibitor list including Harrods Aviation, Fred Olsen Cruises, Weston Homes, LPL Construction, Hilton London Stansted, Toyota and Herts Regional College, we felt that we could not miss out the opportunity of taking an exhibition stand with these other high profile corporates.
The Tabor Group has been hosting tailor-made weddings for over 20 years but we are relatively new to hosting conferences and seminars. I felt that we needed to introduce our brand to the local market especially because we have two beautiful venues located in Essex.
Taking the stand at Check-In @ Stansted event last year was truly amazing for us. I felt it offered the exposure, which was needed; we made lots of new contacts and built up additional client base from those attending. This is why we have decided to take a stand at this year’s event on Thursday 18th June 2015".
2015 Diamond Sponsors:
Visit Essex invest in new tourism businesses
A specially designed training and coaching programme has been set up by Visit Essex, the county’s official tourism organisation, to boost new tourism businesses in Essex this year.
The programme, funded through Essex County Council’s economic growth fund, has just been launched and is open to Essex businesses, which have been operational for 18 months or less, or looking to start up within the next 12 months in the tourism, leisure or hospitality industry.
Free training courses will be held to cover topics such as customer service and marketing and offer business support; ensuring businesses not only survive, but succeed. They will also get the opportunity to meet other Essex start-ups at these courses and can benefit from free one to one business advice from tourism experts and will receive a free business toolkit as a legacy of the programme.
Visit Essex Chairman George Kieffer said: “These start-ups are vital to tourism development in Essex. Not only does it increase the tourism offer, therefore, giving a new reason for people to visit, but it also adds to the visitor experience and helps to improve the quality of the experience. The vast majority of tourism businesses are small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s) and we want to give them as much support as we can.”
County Councillor Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth; Infrastructure; Waste and Recycling said: “Essex is a wonderful county to showcase and with over 55,000 people currently employed within tourism in Essex, it is important that we protect this vital industry. We want to see tourism thrive in 2015 and beyond and are working to protect, if not increase, the £2.9 billion that it brings in to the Essex economy.
As part of the project, tourism professionals and entrepreneurs will be talking to college and university students about the benefits of starting up a business in the tourism industry.
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