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Luton is less than 30 miles (50 km) north of the centre of London, and has good transport links via the motorway network and the National Rail system. Luton is also home to Luton Airport, one of the major feeder airports for London and the southeast. Luton is served by buses run by Arriva Shires & Essex and other operators, and has a busway. As a Unitary Authority, Luton Borough Council is responsible for local highways and public transport in the borough.



Junction 11 on the M1, one of two junctions for Luton.

Luton is connected to the M1 motorway, and with the A6 and the A505.[citation needed]


Luton is served by three railway stations on the Midland Main Line: Luton, Luton Airport Parkway and Leagrave. Thameslink and Great Northern runs the Thameslink route north to Bedford and south to Brighton via central London stations.[citation needed]

There are plans to introduce 24-hour rail services to Luton and Luton Airport Parkway.[1] The Thameslink Programme will provide further links to southwards to Guildford, East Grinstead, Ashford, Dartford and the South Coast.[2]

Bus and coach servicesEdit

Bus services are primarily operated by Arriva Shires & Essex, Centrebus and Grant Palmer.[3]

Luton to Dunstable BuswayEdit

The Luton to Dunstable Busway, opened in 2013

The Luton to Dunstable Busway is a guided bus connecting Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Luton with Luton Airport. The guided busway runs for 13.4 kilometres (8.3 miles) and was opened in September 2013.[4]

Luton AirportEdit

Luton Airport is 2 mi (3.2 km) from Junction 10a on the M1 and is the fourth-largest airport serving the London area, after Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, and is one of London's six international airports along with London City Airport and London Southend Airport. The airport is a hub for EasyJet, Monarch Airlines, Thomson Airways and Ryanair.[5]

Recent developmentsEdit

East Luton Corridor improvements schemeEdit

In 2006 work started on widening the M1 past Luton and to the south, and on upgrading the access from the M1 to the airport, as part of the Local Transport Plan east Luton corridor improvement scheme.[6]

This scheme will provide dual-carriageway access to Luton Airport from the M1 and increased capacity at some junctions in the area. It aims to improve safety, reduce accidents, improve access to existing and potential development areas, improve access to and between public transport interchanges and public transport journey times and reliability, reduce congestion and improve reliability air quality and ease pedestrian and cycle crossing at junctions. Work started in 2008[7] and was completed in Spring 2009.[8] The cost was estimated at £22 million in 2003.[9]

Proposed developmentsEdit

Luton town centre transport schemeEdit

Luton town centre transport scheme
ProposerLuton Borough Council
Cost estimate£26.9 million
Start dateBefore 2014

Luton town centre is planned to undergo redevelopment starting before 2014 at an expected cost of £26.9 million.[10] The development is intended to improve access to the railway station, which will become part of a new rail and bus interchange.[11] Part of the road route is not yet finalised, the two options under consideration are known as the "red route" and the "green route".[12] The Luton Town Centre development has been placed in the Pre-Qualification pool by the Department for Transport for securing funding. Compulsory purchase orders approved for red route (May 2012). The scheme will need to be deemed one of the best 34 in the pre-qualification pool to make it to the qualification pool where it can compete for funding at the end of 2011.[13]

M1 Junction 10aEdit

Work was in progress to make major changes to M1 Junction 10a, at the end of the Luton spur from the main M1, to relieve congestion which had increased since the completion of the Luton East Corridor. An exhibition of options was held in September 2009, with work beginning in January 2014.[14][15]

Luton DARTEdit

In April 2018 construction commenced the Luton DART that will link Luton Airport with Luton Airport Parkway station.[16][17][18][19] It is scheduled to open in 2021.[20]


  1. ^ First Capital plans[dead link]
  2. ^ Network Rail (18 October 2006). "Map of expanded Thameslink route". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Bus services in Luton" (PDF). 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Luton and Dunstable guided busway 'good for economy'". BBC. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Key Facts". London Luton Airport. Archived from the original on 17 July 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  6. ^ Widening of the M1
  7. ^ "Lord McKenzie opens East Luton Corridor".
  8. ^ "Roadworks information". Archived from the original on 20 September 2008.
  9. ^ " Doc3".
  10. ^ "East of England – Committed schemes". East of England Regional Assembly. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  11. ^ "Luton town centre transport scheme". Luton Borough Council. Retrieved 6 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Luton Town Centre Transport Scheme – Comparison of Options" (PDF). Luton Borough Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  13. ^ Local Transport Today, Issue 557, Page 7
  14. ^ "All change at 10A?".
  15. ^ "Project Progress Information from Luton Borough Council".
  16. ^ New railway connection to London Luton Airport approved BBC News 22 June 2017
  17. ^ London Luton Airport peoplemover approved Metro Report International 6 July 2017
  18. ^ VolkerFitzpatrick-Kier jv wins £119m Luton airport rail link Construction Enquirer January 2018
  19. ^ Work begins on new £225 million rail link at Luton Airport ITV News 17 April 2018
  20. ^ Fast and easy transfer from train to plane London Luton Airport Limited