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Luton Airport 24-hour light rail link to open in 2020

London Luton Airport (LLA) has announced plans to build a 24-hour light rail link between the airport and Luton Airport Parkway station.

The 1.2 mile long rail link mass passenger transit, similar to those already used at Birmingham and Gatwick, will be funded by Luton Borough Council and open in 2020, replacing the current bus service.

A recent Transport Select Committee report said that better rail surface links to airports are urgently needed.

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “Improving rail links is a crucial part of LLA’s development, and integral to ensure that we provide the best service possible for all our passengers.

“The creation of a light rail link between Parkway station and the terminal is a significant milestone in the airport’s transformation and the first step towards creating a world-class air-rail service.”

Currently, 16% of LLA passengers, or 2 million every year, currently visit the station by rail, a figure LLA wants to increase to 30%.

LLA also aims to introduce four fast trains each hour to cover the distance from the airport to central London in 20 minutes, as part of the new East Midlands rail franchise.  It is also working with Transport for London to add the airport to the Oyster card network.

(Image c. Luton Airport)


Andrew Gwilt   19/04/2016 at 01:38

Thats great news for London Luton Airport. That would end shuttle buses being used between Luton Airport Parkway (Thameslink) railway station and the Luton Airport's main terminal at London Luton Airport. And it would cut journey times from 8 minutes on the shuttle bus to 3 minutes on the new light rail system once its built and fully operational.

Jerry Alderson   19/04/2016 at 12:13

It's somewhat ironic that LBC has switched its affections from guided busway (I was an objector and appeared at the TWA public inquiry) to light rail. Your article gives certainty to the 2020 opening date. I hope this will be the case, but isn't there the small matter of a TWA Order Application first?

Martin Young   19/04/2016 at 13:38

This is great news! However, I still cannot understand why the Guided Busway option was chosen that runs between Luton and Dunstable. If the light tram option had won, then this light rail link to Luton Airport could have been included.

Martin Benson   20/04/2016 at 09:06

Why not extend the guided busway to the airport ?

John Dunford   23/04/2016 at 22:53

Pre 1994 I put a proposal to tye Luton Council about converting the Luton to Dunstable Line into a Tramway with a cinnection on the old line towards Wlwyn to run up to Luton Airport. Rubbished by the then Luton Council Transport Officer. Oh how much cheeper that option would have been then than the Bysway and now this. At the time I estimated tge costs to be 30-40 Million. Oh how the establishment loves to delay and spend more money later.

David Reynolds   24/04/2016 at 09:44

The press release for this light rail says similar to 'Birmingham and Gatwick airports mass transit systems'. Neither of these are Light rail: Gatwick's system is tyre based running on a flat guided concrete track??

Matthew Read   26/04/2016 at 19:13

Luton will be the first non-jetty airport to have a monorail!

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