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New railway connection to London Luton Airport approved

Artist's impression of the new rail link at Luton Airport. Image copyright London Luton Airport
Image caption The new rail link will connect the existing Luton Airport Parkway station to the terminal building

London Luton Airport is to get a new railway station so that trains can run directly to the terminal.

A 1.4-mile (2.2km) rail line will be built to the existing Luton Airport Parkway station, replacing the current bus shuttle service.

The £200m plans have been approved by Luton Borough Council and the station is due to open by the end of 2020.

It is hoped that passengers will be able to travel between the airport and London in under half an hour.

Current journeys from London to the parkway station take at least 20 minutes with passengers then having to wait for a shuttle bus which takes at least a further ten minutes, traffic permitting.

Image copyright London Luton Airport
Image caption Trains on the new line will be automated and run 24 hours a day

It is part of a major redevelopment of the airport which also includes improvements to surrounding roads and layout of the terminal.

London Luton is the fifth-busiest airport in the UK, handling 14.6m passengers last year, and the airport is predicting that will increase to 18m by 2020.

Labour Cllr Dave Taylor, chair of planning at Luton Borough Council, said: "It's an exciting development which will enhance the passenger experience at Luton.

"It was approved by all three parties on the council, unanimously, because the airport is a success story for the town and this improves the accessibility to it."

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