London Luton Airport (LLA) has called for improved rail access to the hub following its busiest ever May.
Almost 1.5 million passengers travelled through the hub in May, up 3.6% on the same month last year. LLA says its £160m redevelopment project has the potential to help alleviate air capacity constraints in the South East of England but better rail links are needed to Luton Airport Parkway station to make it a reality.
The airport believes the renewal of the East Midlands rail franchise offers a chance to address this. The Department for Transport’s recently-published invitation to tender (ITT) highlights the importance of improving air rail links to both LLA and East Midlands Airport.
LLA is asking bidders for the franchise to include four fast trains per hour between Luton Airport Parkway and central London to increase the number of passengers travelling by rail.
Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said, “The recent government approval of the third runway at Heathrow will not solve London’s capacity problems alone. Regional airports need to be able to meet their full potential, and improved rail links are essential to achieving that.
“The DfT has recognized that in the East Midlands rail franchise and we hope the bidding rail companies will seize this once-in-a-decade opportunity to improve rail services for passengers and help ease the UK’s capacity crunch.”