Outrage as Luton train station revamp pushed back to 2020s

The revamp of Luton train station has been delayed by the government until the 2020s, it was revealed this week.

Thursday, 8th December 2016, 2:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:56 pm

MP Gavin Shuker shared contents of a letter from The Department for Transport, revealing that Luton was among the train stations dropped from the current Access For All improvements scheme.

The scheme was designed to boost disability access in the outdated station, and had been eagerly anticipated in Luton.

News of the deferral was greeted with outrage by the town’s politicians.

Deputy council leader, Cllr Sian Timoney tweeted: “I am beyond dismayed. Luton is one of the busiest stations on the network.”

Her views were echoed by Cllr Rachel Hopkin, who added: “This Tory government doesn’t care. It’s disgraceful to pull much needed funding for Luton station.”

The letter from parliamentary undersecretary Paul Maynard MP stated that because of “cost escalation” and “schedule delay” of Network Rail’s wider improvments portfolio, the DfT had been forced to reviewits proposals.

A report by Sir Peter Hendy recommended that parts of the Access For All scheme be held back until after 2019 because of a lack of funding.

And sadly, Luton was one of the stations earmarked by the DfT for deferral.

The letter added: “In selecting the stations that will be deferred, we have looked at how far advanced the projects currently are.

“I realise that this will be an extremely disappointing letter but I hope you will appreciate this has been an extremely difficult decision.

“I would like to assure you that we remain committed to delivering the Access For All programme in full, including Luton.”

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