Transport links are restricting growth in passengers, says airport boss

Oct 09, 2017

The figures, released today (Monday), show a 6% rise compared with the same month last year. This latest increase marks the 42nd consecutive month of growth for LLA.

Airport bosses say that, while demand is increasing, a lack of adequate public transport links is restricting the number of travellers who choose to use the airport and the UK’s ability to maximise available air capacity ahead of a new runway at Heathrow.

It is also constraining the airport’s potential contribution to the regional and national economy.

Currently Luton is the only major London airport without a direct express-style rail service. As part of the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising process, airport chief executiove Nick Barton is calling on the government to introduce a requirement for four trains per hour to call at Luton Airport Parkway station, improving access to and from the site. 

The consultation closes on Wednesday (October 11).

Mr Barton said: “Introducing more fast rail services is a simple change which will make passengers’ journeys to the airport easier and quicker, while also providing benefits for the regional and national economy.

“Achievable though timetable change alone and requiring no new capital expenditure, this is a cost-effective and immediate means of addressing the South East’s capacity shortage.”

London Luton is carrying out the single biggest investment in its 79-year history, which will transform the airport and increase annual capacity by 50% by 2020.

Since construction began in 2016, passengers have benefited from an expanded security search area, new multi-storey car park and new shops and restaurants. A new dual carriageway access road has also helped to alleviate congestion to and from the airport.

Luton Borough Council has begun enabling work on a £200 million mass passenger transit system linking the airport terminal with Luton Airport Parkway station. Once complete, it will operate 24 hours a day and replace the current shuttle bus and reduce passengers’ journey times.

For more details on LLA’s ambitions for an express-style rail service, visit www.fourfasttrains.co.uk   

More information on the consultation and how to respond can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-east-midlands-rail-franchise 

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