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Luton Guided Busway project secures £89M funding package

Transport minister Sadiq Khan has announced a £89M funding package for Luton’s Guided Busway project.

The investment will create a guided busway that will cover 12km and stretch from Houghton Regis to Luton Airport. The service will be provided by specially adapted buses capable of running on their own track and on the public roads. Around 8km of the route will be a guided busway.

The busway will link the town centres of Luton, Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Luton Airport Parkway station and Luton Airport.

“An efficient and reliable transport system is the heartbeat of every local community,” said Khan. “This area is currently undergoing a major rejuvenation and I am pleased to say that it will now have a first rate transport system to match.

“When completed, this scheme will benefit the entire community by easing congestion and encouraging greater integration between services.”

Up to £80M will be provided by the Department for Transport with the remaining funding being provided by local authorities and private investors.

Following further detailed design work, the main construction of the busway is due to start in December 2010 with completion scheduled for April 2012.

The announcement comes in the week that the full extent of problems with Cambridgeshire’s guided bus emerged. Cambridgeshire’s busway is more than one year late opening and is running £58M over budget.

The Luton Dunstable Guided busway local transport major scheme is being promoted by Luton Borough Council.

The scheme was granted initial Government funding approval in December 2003 and secured all its statutory powers in November 2006 under the Transport and Works Act.   

It received Conditional Approval from the Government in August 2008.

Readers' comments (1)

  • There are nearly an infinite number of ways to ridicule these recent misguided bus schemes. This Luton example is particularly egregious, given the cost of over GBP 10,000 per system metre and the clearly badly failing Cambridge white elephant just over the horizon. Guideway Buses make so little economic or engineering sense that you just have to wonder 'is there something else going on that I'm not seeing?' I can't speak for Luton, but in the case of Cambridge, the answer is almost certainly yes - and that yes deals with yet another regressive wealth transfer. Specifically, the project is all about land. Many millions of pounds were spent to acquire or reacquire otherwise basically useless swampy fenland from the well-to-do landed gentry. Viewed in this context, the guided busway - and the Conservative support for it can be seen as making a lot of sense.

    Here's what luton should do with 90 million pounds: spend 30,000 of it and build a wall in front of that awful nightclub where the majority of coaches seem to stop. That wall, and returning the rest of the money, would do far more for luton's reputation, than this white elephant would.

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