State of the art rail link is on the right track

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Luton’s ambitious plans for a £200 million Mass Passenger Transit system linking London Luton Airport with Luton Airport Parkway railway station will be displayed at two forthcoming public exhibitions next week.

The scheme forms a key part of Luton’s ambitious and wide-ranging £1.5 billion inward investment programme which outlines a 20-year plan for major transformation of the town and signals how the borough will achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth and create jobs for local people.

It follows the airport’s separate £110 million redevelopment plans, and together the combined investment will transform passenger travel and enable the airport (LLA) to increase its capacity by 50 per cent to 18 million passengers per year by 2020.

Cllr Andy Malcolm, chairman of the airport authority, said: “The events provide an opportunity for residents and passengers to speak with members of the project team, help us shape our plans and take account of any suggestions.

“I would encourage people to come along, or to view the plans online, we want to hear what everyone has to say ahead of a planning application being submitted next year.

“We are delighted to be able to unveil more details about our proposals to provide a seamless five-minute transfer time between Parkway station and the airport terminal.

“A total journey time of less than 30 minutes from St Pancras to the airport will beat the time from Liverpool Street to Stansted by 20 minutes and better the time from Victoria to Gatwick too.”

The transit system will be a fully-automated, two-way, 24-hour people mover.

The identified preferred 2.2km route runs between two purpose-built stations, heading out from Stirling Place where a new commercial development is also planned, alongside the mainline railway and crossing over Airport Way before passing through the airport’s existing mid-term car park and arriving at the airport’s central terminal area.

Planning permission will be sought from Luton Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council possibly by the end of January 2017 and could be fully operational by 2021.

The exhibitions are on:

• Wednesday 2 November from 4-8pm at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel, near Luton Airport Parkway station, 42-52 Kimpton Road, Luton, and

• Saturday 5 November from 10-2pm at Luton Central Library, St George’s Square, Luton.

Information can also be found at www.llal.org.uk, where there are copies of an information leaflet and online feedback form.

Respondents are asked to please submit completed forms by 16 November.