The Price of Vanity?

As people drive along New Airport Way under the DART Bridge, they will notice the curving structure that towers above the actual track. What is the purpose of this within the actual DART track system, many will have asked themselves?  

This is how the architects of it describe the feature:-

“Like airports, the London Luton Gateway Bridge has been designed as a gateway to a destination. Forming a part of the Airport’s forthcoming rapid transit system, the bridge carries passengers from the proposed Parkway Station directly to the terminal beyond.

An airport is an asymmetric experience; half a journey; a departure or an arrival. As such, an asymmetric structure was sought, which would draw the eye skywards to the journey ahead. Spanning 72m across the busy Airport Way, the truss is primarily viewed from below, against the backdrop of the sky. Its top chord traces a parabola which springs tangentially from the deck, before tapering to a slender profile which appears to fade into the distance.  This parabolic elevational rise, combined with the plan-curve of the bridge strikes a dynamic and elegant arc in the sky, which suits the moving viewpoint of both the road and DART users.

As night falls, the top-chord becomes illuminated with an active-LED system. Unlike traditional lighting systems for gateway bridges, which are illuminated from below, the LED system will be attached directly to the structure and aimed downwards. This allows the lighting system to safely operate in its airport environment, without interfering with the functional lighting behind.”

All sounds very impressive, for a cosmetic effect which will not make the actual DART work any better.  That is until we share with you what we have been told in confidence recently.  This artistic non-functional statement piece, has cost a cool £1.25 million price tag, plus interest, all paid for with money that could have been used within Luton Council budgets.

Let us not forget that last year Flying Start Children’s Centres were closed and integrated to save money due to loss of income form Luton Airport, but at same time the airport company were spending money on the cosmetic DART Bridge, and accepting a £60 million loan from its Council parents to keep itself solvent.

We were told last week of a theoretical saving of £1 billion on airport Expansion Plans, but this is the same company that thinks nothing of spending £1.25 million on an aesthetic flourish.

Stop wasting valuable potential Council resources now and Stop Luton Airport Expansion

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