Luton Borough Council has called on the Department for Transport to introduce four trains per hour between London Luton Airport (LLA) and central London.
The council said this reflects recommendations made in the Shaw Report (RAIL 797), which asked for ‘greater local responsiveness’.
It said: “DfT is currently preparing for the tendering process for the new East Midlands Trains franchise, which is due to begin in 2018. LLA is currently served by just one fast train per hour and is the only major London airport without a dedicated express service.”
The council said that the business case for securing more fast trains on the EMT franchise estimates that it would be worth £26.5 million per year for Luton. It claims that four fast trains per hour would double the number of people travelling to the airport by public transport to more than 30%. LLA is spending £50m to increase capacity 50% by 2018.
Robin Porter, LBC’s director of commercial and transformation services, has said that without the increase LLA will be at a “significant commercial disadvantage in comparison to the other London airports”.
London Luton Airport Chief Executive Nick Barton said: “The Shaw Report makes clear that customers must be at the heart of the decision-making process within the rail industry. Committing to four fast trains per hour to Luton Airport Parkway through the new EMT franchise agreement would fit exactly in line with this ambition.”