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Luton to build 24-hour rail link to parkway

Words: Laura Edgar
Artist impression of London Luton Airport

London Luton Airport limited has announced it plans to build a new 24-hour light rail link between Luton Airport Parkway station and the airport terminal.

The plans are for a mass passenger transit (MPT) system similar to those in use at Gatwick Airport and Birmingham Airport to replace the current bus service.

It is expected that the new service will be operational in 2020, making it “easier and quicker” for passengers to reach the airport terminal.

The light rail link is part of a larger rail connectivity improvement plan, which includes introducing a 20-minute express service between the airport and central London as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail franchise. This would see four fast trains an hour between Luton and the capital.

Additionally, the airport is working with Transport for London to add it to the Oyster network.

Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “Improving rail links is a crucial part of the airport’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. We will continue to work hard to increase the number of fast train services and add the airport to the Oyster card network.”

The airport is currently undergoing a series of works, worth £110 million, including a redesign of the terminal, in an attempt to improve the speed and convenience of checking in and going through security.

The announcement of a 24-hour rail link to the parkway came as Luton Borough Council launched its Investment Framework for the next 20 years. It outlines how Luton will achieve “strong, sustainable and balanced growth and create more than 18,500 jobs for local people”.

The town currently has eight strategic development sites offering retail, leisure, hotels and housing opportunities, as well as large sites for engineering and aviation-linked employment.

More information about the development of London Luton Airport can be found here.

Details about the Investment Framework can be found on the council’s website.

Image credit | London Luton Airport