Grant Palmer criticises short-notice busway closure

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The Luton-Dunstable busway is closed in both directions between Church Street Bridge and Skimpot Road until Friday, August 21, for essential maintenance works.

The busway’s services, operated by Arriva, Centrebus and Grant Palmer, will be diverted to an on-road route.

The busway was partially closed on Sunday, August 2, and Monday, August 3, following a collision which left the driver and two passengers seriously injured.

Luton Today reported that the Arriva bus suffered a puncture which caused it to derail at around 2300hrs on August 1. The impact of the collision threw the driver of the bus through his cab window, leaving the vehicle out of control and on the wrong side of the track.

One of the bus passengers jumped out of the moving vehicle and flagged down an oncoming bus to avoid a head-on collision.

The works are subject to weather conditions, with the weekend of August 22-23 also allocated as a contingency if required.

Dave Shelley from Grant Palmer criticised the decision. He said: “Further to Luton council’s press release about the closure of the busway, I write to provide information about the impact of the closure on our customers using busway route C between Weatherby, Dunstable and Luton.

“The closure of the busway is expected to double journey times between Dunstable and Luton from 12 to 24 minutes. As a result we will be operating a special timetable, with a reduced level of service, but at least one which we will be able to deliver on time and customers can rely on.

“The closure of the busway at such short notice is very frustrating for both ourselves and our customers who will feel let down. We are very sorry about the impact it is having and are raising our concerns with Luton council and Central Bedfordshire who are managing the closure, and with the Traffic Commissioner for the region who oversees conduct in such things.”