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£200m transit system is a ‘key milestone’ in airport’s expansion

The MPT will create a transfer time of just five minutes from Luton Airport Parkway to the airport terminal. Subject to planning permission, work could begin in later this year, with the system ready for operation by spring 2021.

The scheme will be funded by the council-owned London Luton Airport Ltd under its capital programme.

LLAL chair Cllr Andy Malcolm, the council’s portfolio holder for finance, said the MPT is a key part of the airport’s expansion plans to accommodate 18 million passengers by 2021.

Airport chief executive Nick Barton described it as a “key milestone”.

Cllr Malcolm added: “The submission of our planning application is the most significant moment yet in the ongoing £1.5 billion transformation of our town under the exciting and ambitious Luton Investment Framework.

“It opens up opportunities for development throughout the London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone and confirms our confidence in Luton’s potential for economic and employment growth.”

The MPT system will be a fully-automated, two-way, people-mover capable of operating 24 hours a day and based on latest system technology and design innovation.

The 2.2 km route will run between two purpose-built stations at Stirling Place and the Central Terminal alongside the mainline railway before crossing over Airport Way via a new landmark bridge.

It will then continue through the airport’s existing mid-term car park, under a taxiway and on to the Central Terminal.

Airport chiefs, business leaders and the council are campaigning for four fast trains an hour from London as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail franchise.

Cllr Malcolm said: “London Luton Airport is ready and willing to make a significant contribution to meeting the growing demand for air travel in London and the South-East.

“Combined with the prospect of four fast trains an hour from London, this investment in mass passenger transit will transform the experience of those travelling to the airport by rail and will encourage more people to do so and therefore help to reduce congestion on the roads.”

The London Luton Airport Enterprise Zone, supported by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and the government, will deliver 7,200 new jobs via Stirling Place, a revitalised airport business park and a new 70-acre commercial development at Century Park east of the airport that will be served by a new 1.6-mile access road.

Luton’s Investment Framework is the council’s ambitious plan to secure £1.5 billion investment to create 18,500 quality jobs for local people, improvements to health and wellbeing, raising aspirations and enhancing prosperity.

Council leader Cllr Hazel Simmons said: “It is fantastic to see plans for the MPT being submitted. Luton is not content to dwell on public sector spending reductions. Instead we are focused on creating the most positive climate for inward investment.” 

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