Three operators will run four different services on the busway, which when combined mean a service frequency of up to every seven minutes
Bus services on the £91m Luton Dunstable Busway will begin on Wednesday September 25, linking the two town centres in 15 minutes, Luton Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils have announced.
Three operators – Arriva, Centrebus and Grant Palmer – will run services on four new routes which together provide core services between Dunstable and Luton up to every seven minutes at peak times.
The core Busway route comprises 6.1 miles of segregated bus-only road between Blackburn Road in Houghton Regis, through Dunstable and into Luton town centre. Within this, a 4.8 mile section of concrete guideway has been built along the disused Luton-Dunstable railway corridor so standard buses fitted with two small guide wheels can join and leave the track, and travel on it in both directions smoothly and safely at speeds of up to 50mph.
Bus services using the Busway will be:
- Service A operated by Arriva from Parkside, Houghton Regis, to London Luton Airport via Dunstable and Luton Station Interchange, seven days a week – featuring Monday to Saturday services approximately every 15 minutes at peak times (hourly in the late evening) plus regular Sunday service;
- Service B operated by Centrebus from Downside estate to Luton Station Interchange via Dunstable, seven days a week – featuring Monday to Saturday services approximately every half an hour at peak times plus regular Sunday service;
- Service C operated by Grant Palmer from Beecroft estate to Luton Station Interchange via Dunstable, six days a week – featuring Monday to Saturday services approximately every halfhour at peak times; and
- Service E operated by Centrebus from Toddington Green to Luton Galaxy Centre via Dunstable White Lion, six a days a week – featuring Monday to Friday services approximately every halfhour at peak times, plus regular Saturday service.
Since work began in September 2010, six bridges have been demolished and rebuilt and three new ones added. More than 4,500 concrete beams each weighing 4.8 tonnes have been laid.
Cllr Dave Taylor of Luton Borough Council said: “After 20 years in the planning and three years in construction, it’s incredibly exciting to be announcing the opening date of the Luton Dunstable Busway.
“People in Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis have been waiting a long time for a significant improvement to the public transport network. These journey times are not only extremely fast, in some cases more than twice as quick, but also frequent and reliable, and therefore offer a high quality and real alternative to the frustrating traffic queues we all know.”
Cllr Nigel Young of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The Luton Dunstable Busway is far more flexible than rail could ever be, and quicker and more reliable than conventional bus services, which makes it absolutely the best way to travel between Houghton Regis, Dunstable and Luton.
“The great benefits are faster journey times and improved connections for businesses, from as early as 0530hrs until late on weekdays. By working together so closely, the councils and operators have delivered four great routes and ensured the Busway will open up a wealth of opportunities for hassle-free journeys.”