Luton airport is planning to park its much-maligned bus transfer service once and for all and build a £200m light rail link to the nearest railway station.
The fast-track service would make journey time between the capital and Luton airport faster than for those flying via Gatwick, the airport claimed.
The 24-hour, automated light-rail link would replace the buses currently used to transfer travellers between the station and the terminal, making the fastest complete journey from Luton airport to London St Pancras in less than 30 minutes.
The link will be funded by Luton borough council, which owns the airport freehold. While the station is almost adjacent to the airport perimeter, it is around 40 meters downhill from it, making a fixed rail link difficult to build.
The chief executive, Nick Barton, said: “We’re delighted Luton borough council is making the investment. It’s perfect for us: we’ve been on a journey, but there’s always been that fundamental gap between the terminal and the very good train service – served by a bus, which just isn’t good enough.”
Barton said: “It’s raising the game and lifting up our standards. When you get to Luton Airport Parkway you will think that you’re actually at the terminal.”
EasyJet, the biggest carrier at the airport, welcomed the news, saying the redevelopment was a key factor in its pledge to double the size of its operations there over the next decade.
He said Luton was working closely with the Department for transport to remove barriers to rail travel to the airport, including tackling any ticketing confusion, and allowing passengers to travel between the airport and London using Oyster card or contactless payment by 2018.
Luton would also benefit from the upgrade of Thameslink trains, as well as being served by St Pancras, Barton said.
“The whole train story has just transformed and this is the next big – but very big step – to making that journey superb.”
Luton airport is spending a further £110m on redeveloping its terminals and layout to expand capacity to 18 million passengers a year by 2020 which is a good sign of the betterment and helping to increase the number of passengers at the airport with more ease.
Source: UK News