Rail Magazine, which is a monthly publication, has published an article on the DART rail link that is costing £225 million. The article goes on to quote Luton Borough Council (LBC) leader Hazel Simmons: “It’s costing a lot of money, but we cannot afford not to do it when we need to provide the sort of infrastructure expected by the modern traveller”
With the Council leader making this staggering statement STOPLAE is compelled to ask the following questions; is the “modern traveller” paying the huge costs in the form of a levy, as is done at many expanding airports?
The answer is no.
Is the airport concessionaire London Luton Airport Operations Limited (LLAOL) paying the huge costs, bearing in mind that they, along with these “modern travellers”, will benefit from the DART?
Once again the answer is no.
Are the residents seeing concession income diverted to repay the huge loans taken out by LBC on behalf of London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL) to fund this and other LLAL projects? According to the Statement of Accounts for 2017/18 for Luton Borough Councils, the answer is yes.
Will this project increase the amount of concession income flowing into LBC to help fund services as the council pleads poverty? Unless the terms of the agreement are changed to pay more per passenger, no .
Once again we see the focus of Luton Borough Council, who by footing the bill for the new DART link, put the needs of the operator and “modern traveller” first, before the needs of the people who own the airport, the residents of Luton themselves.