'Encouraging' signs multi-million pound upgrade of Luton Rail Station could be back on track

"Encouraging" signs are emerging that improvements to Luton railway station could finally be back on track, a council meeting heard.

By Euan Duncan
Monday, 10th August 2020, 2:43 pm
Updated Monday, 10th August 2020, 2:44 pm

Network Rail is reviewing the costings of the project and is due to share its findings with Luton Borough Council on Friday, August 14.

Plans for the redevelopment of the station were drawn up by the local authority, including disability access.

The scheme was submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT), Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway, but the pandemic has delayed progress.

Luton Rail Station

The DfT asked Network Rail to take over the lead of the project.

A number of options were discussed towards the end of last year for the first phase of improvements, including lifts and stairs to all platforms.

It had been agreed that the organisations would start working towards the preferred option to install a new bridge at first floor level above the entrance to platform five at the station.

Lifts and stairs would connect passengers to platforms one, two, three and four.

This option would make the station fully accessible and include a new link provided to the ticket office.

Liberal Democrat Crawley councillor Terry Keens asked how talks between the rail authorities and the council are progressing.

Portfolio holder for regeneration and Labour Farley councillor Sian Timoney said: “The Department of Transport did facilitate a virtual meeting with the council, Network Rail and Govia Thameslink on Thursday, July 16.

“One of the outcomes is the project sponsor Network Rail agreed to review the costings.

“The company intends to come back to all parties on Friday, August 14. So we should have further information then.”

Councillor Keens replied: “That’s very encouraging.”

The council provisionally approved a £2m contribution towards the station redevelopment, its executive was told in January.

The DfT had indicated it would contribute £5m through the Access for All (AfA) fund.

With £2m more likely via other funds within Network Rail and Govia Thameslink, about £1.8m was still to be allocated at that stage.