Luton Airport’s new light rail link to open with restricted timetable

A new light rail link connecting Luton Airport with the nearest railway station will begin carrying passengers on March 10.

Luton Dart (Direct Air-Rail Transit) will initially operate a restricted timetable for around four hours a day, with a limited number of passengers travelling between the Bedfordshire airport and Luton Parkway station invited to use the service for free.

Full commercial operations 24 hours a day are expected to begin at around the end of March.

The details were announced by Luton Rising, a business and social enterprise owned by Luton Council.

Construction delays and other issues mean the link is reportedly opening two years behind schedule and a third over budget, at £300 million.

Journeys will take three minutes and cost £4.90 each way, with discounts for the town’s residents.

Bus services between Luton Airport and Luton Parkway station will be withdrawn at a later date.

The King rode the Dart on a visit to Luton in December.

Luton Council leader Hazel Simmons said: “The Luton Dart is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Luton and promises to put our town and our airport firmly on the map for all the right reasons.

“Electrically-powered, energy-efficient, and future-proofed to support sustainable growth of the airport, it is a vital sign of our commitment to encourage more passengers to take the train rather than individual car journeys to and from our airport.”

Luton Rising head Javeria Hussain said: “The Luton DART will provide a world-class and seamless transfer between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the London Luton Airport terminal, enabling passengers travelling from London St Pancras to be at the airport in as little as 32 minutes on the fastest trains at peak times.”