London Luton Airport Calls for Improved Rail Links

(Photo: London Luton Airport)

Having handled 1,498,281 passengers in May London Luton Airport (LLA) has called for improved rail links to help solve London’s capacity problems.

The figures represent a 3.6% increase compared to May last year and the 16th consecutive month that over one million passengers have passed through the airport.

This airport says the continued demand reinforces its calls to improve rail access to Luton Airport Parkway (LAP) station.  It adds that its LLA’s current £160million redevelopment project has the potential to unlock much-needed air capacity in the South East, but better rail links are needed for LLA to reach its full potential.

An airport statement said the renewal of the East Midlands rail franchise offers a chance to address this, and the Department for Transport’s recently-published invitation to tender (ITT) highlights the importance of improving air rail links to both Luton and East Midlands Airport.

LLA is calling on bidders for the franchise to include four fast trains per hour between Luton Airport Parkway and central London saying it will not only increase the proportion of passengers travelling by rail but can also be achieved with no capital expenditure.

Nick Barton, CEO of LLA, said: “The Cabinet’s recent 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 Department for Transport has recognised 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.”

1 Comment

  1. It would appear that Luton Airport has not noticed the £6bn investment in the Thameslink project. This once past the teething trouble stage will provide a high frequency service not just to St Pancras, the terminus of the Midland Main Line franchise but also through central London to about 80 destinations in the South East. This is likely to be far more important in terms of Passenger convenience and hence market share than a few minutes shave of the time to St Pancras. Gatwick Airport has discovered this and so will Heathrow when Crossrail services start in earnest there. The interest in the Midland Main line franchise consultation should be directed at potential improvements to Luton Airport from the East Midlands.

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