Plans for a £200m (US$249m) mass passenger transit (MPT) system to link London Luton Airport (LLA) with Luton Airport Parkway rail station have been submitted.
The airport’s owners London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) claim the MPT will enable fast, easy access from central London to LLA in just 30 minutes, with a speedy five-minute transfer to Luton Airport Parkway.
Depending on the terms of the planning permission, work could begin later this year and be ready for operation by spring 2021.
Councilor Andy Malcolm, chair of LLAL and the council’s portfolio holder for finance, said, “London Luton Airport is experiencing unparalleled success, with a 44% increase in passenger numbers since 2014.
“Along with the £110m (US$137m) transformation of the airport, the MPT will make sure the passenger experience we provide is world class, and combined, will support ongoing growth to 18 million passengers per year by 2021.”
The 2.2km route will run between two purpose-built stations at Stirling Place and the central terminal, with the MPT system being a fully automated, two-way 24-hour service.
“The submission of our planning application is the most significant moment yet in the ongoing £1.5bn (US$1.9bn) transformation of our town under the exciting and ambitious Luton Investment Framework,” added Councilor Malcolm.
“It opens up opportunities for development through the LLA Enterprise Zone and confirms our confidence in Luton’s potential for economic and employment growth.”
Earlier this month, LLAL announced plans for a new key employment site at Century Park will be brought forward to this summer. A separate planning application for a commercial development at Stirling Place will be made in the next few months.
“Improving accessibility, particularly rail links, is equally crucial for the airport’s development,” commented Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton’s Airport Operations Ltd (LLAOL).
“We are already working to secure four fast trains per hour to Luton Airport Parkway station as part of the new East Midlands rail franchise. The creation of a mass passenger transit link between Parkway and the terminal will be a key milestone in the airport’s transformation.”
Neil Slave, commercial manager of EasyJet, added, “EasyJet welcomes the plan for a new direct rail link connecting Luton Airport Parkway station with the airport. We already encourage passengers to travel by rail, and now fly over six million passengers a year to and from London Luton as the number one airline at the airport.”
By Kirstie Pickering