Luton to Dunstable busway celebrates 10 years of journeys

It goes from Houghton Regis to the airport - and back again
Councillor Javed Hussain at the busway. Picture: Luton Borough CouncilCouncillor Javed Hussain at the busway. Picture: Luton Borough Council
Councillor Javed Hussain at the busway. Picture: Luton Borough Council

It has been 10 years since the busway connecting Luton and Dunstable was unveiled.

A decade on and figures from the council reveal that over two million people have used the network every year since it was completed. In September 2013, the Luton Dunstable busway opened, built along part of the old Leighton Buzzard to Luton railway track – running from Houghton Regis all the way to the airport.

Councillor Javed Hussain, portfolio holder for Sustainable Development and Highways, said: “The busway has been a huge success in its decade of operation. Many people were sceptical of the impact, but it has proven to be a highly significant factor in the region’s economy.

Residents of Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Luton are able to quickly and efficiently commute to important business sites adjacent to the busway’s route. In addition, staff and visitors to London Luton Airport can travel directly to the terminal at all times of day and night.

“Another obvious benefit to the area is the decrease in traffic. Infrastructure such as the busway is a key factor in enabling us to reach our goal of making Luton carbon-neutral by 2040. The busway has been great for Luton for the past ten years and will continue to be vital in the future.”

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Three bus companies currently run services along the route. According to Luton Borough Council, around 500 cyclists use the cycleway, next to the bus route, every day.

Cllr Tracey Wye, executive member for Sustainability and Climate Resilience at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The busway is a ten-year success story providing people with a reliable and convenient service in the Dunstable area.”

She added: "By using the bus, passengers create far less pollution and congestion in their towns than if they travelled by car while enjoying the wider health and social benefits of public transport.”

Earlier this year, a man in his 70s was killed after being hit by a bus along the guided part of the busway. For nearly five miles of its route, buses have two guide wheels that keep the vehicles within the concrete beams.