Today marks the start of work on the £225m Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) system linking Luton Airport with Luton Airport Parkway railway station.
Lord Porter of Spalding, chairman of the Local Government Association, turned the first sods of earth to herald the beginning of works at a ground-breaking ceremony today,
He was joined by Luton Borough Council leader Cllr Hazel Simmons as well as Cllr Andy Malcolm – chairman of the council’s airport company London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) .
According to the council, the Luton DART will offer a “seamless” journey time from Parkway station to the airport terminal within four minutes – enabling fast, easy access from central London to the airport.
Cllr Simmons said: “The Luton DART will benefit not only airport passengers but also the people and businesses of Luton.
“ It supports our ambitions to secure long-term economic growth and ensure local people have access to high-quality employment opportunities.
“We are all looking forward to the Luton DART opening in 2021.”
LLAL awarded contracts in December for the civil works and according to the company, the DART is on track to be ready for operation by spring 2021.
It is estimated it will create 500 construction jobs over three years, in addition to 30 apprenticeships and 17 permanent positions.
The DART will also be capable of operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. LLAL state that the cable-driven system is both energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The 2.1km route will run between two purpose-built stations at Bartlett Square and the airport terminal.
At peak times, a service is expected to run every four minutes.