Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Luton-Dunstable busway opening date

The guided busway between Luton and Dunstable is due to open on 25th September. See article on BBC website here.

Like the Cambridgeshire busway, this has been built by NAM Nuttall and replaces a disused railway track that could have been reopened and connected to the national rail network. The project has run late and is over budget.

For information about the service that will run see this page.

The Luton Busway will be served initially by four bus routes provided by three bus companies. Arriva will run routes A (Houghton Regis to Luton Station Interchange, Luton Airport Parkway Station and London Luton Airport). Centrebus runs routes B (Downside Jardine Way to Luton Station Interchange) and E ( Toddington Green to Luton Galaxy Centre). Grant Palmer runs route C (Hillcroft Dunstable to Luton Station Interchange). Details here.

Each company has its own fare structure but the multi-operator Hip-Hop ticket ( £4.60 per day, £18.50 per week) which can be used on all Arriva and Centrebus services is being extended to cover the Grant Palmer busway service C.


  1. A preview of the cycle track alongside the busway by Doug Hook shows much of the surface is stony - like the Cambridgeshire one was originally before it was upgraded to the nice tarmac surface we now have.
    It also shows a narrow stretch of cycle track sandwiched between a road and the bus track barely wide enough for 2 cycles to pass.
    And some very narrow barriers at the ends - you need narrow handlebars to get through them.

  2. Thanks for highlighting the cycling preview.

    I am planning to visit the Luton Busway when it opens, and I was wondering about taking my bike and cycling over the hill from Hitchin. But given the terrible state of the track, I think I'll abandon that plan, just go by train and sample the bus service.

    There is a useful tabulation of cycle track recommended widths at http://www.camcycle.org.uk/resources/cyclelanewidths/ though some of the links on it don't lead anywhere. 2.0 metres seems to be generally recommended, with 1.5 metres as the minimum acceptable.

    Transport for London's cycle guidelines http://www.tfl.gov.uk/businessandpartners/publications/2766.aspx suggest that 2 way cycle tracks should be 3.0 metres wide, and that 2.0 metres is the absolute minimum. Doug's photo of the cycle track passing under a narrow bridge suggest that the Luton cycle track falls short of that ideal.

    The Cambridgeshire Busway cycle track is all bi-directional, and I think it is never less than 2 metres wide. I need to check the width on the Ouse Viaduct though.

  3. It's 2.4 meters wide when crossing the Ouse Viaduct, but if bikes are passing oncoming bikes or pedestrians there, and a bus comes past, you don't have much of a margin for error. There is no fence to separate buses from cyclists or pedestrians at this point.

  4. I wish pedestrians/joggers would stay right, so they can see cyclists coming when using the CYCLETRACK. twice this summer I nearly hit someone walking on left because they didn't know I was coming up behind them when they suddenly moved out to there right for one reason or another. You don't walk/run with traffic on roads so do do it on a cycle track!

    1. It would make life on the cycle track a lot easier if people stuck to the advice of the Highway Code i.e. walk on the right hand side of the road when there is no pavement (as on the cycle track). I suspect most walkers haven't read it, or have forgotten it. I suspect also that many people are in 'leisure' mode when walking on the cycle track, and simply forget to be aware of their surroundings.

      But it's not just walkers. I've seen family groups out for a bike ride, and everyone, even the adults, are weaving around on the cycle track. I ring my bell, and the adults try vainly to get the kids to leave space for me to get past.

      Realistically, I don't know how the awareness of walkers can be improved. I think cyclist probably just have to be aware and try to be patient.

      The Highway Code puts it: Take care when passing pedestrians, especially children, older or disabled people, and allow them plenty of room. Always be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary.

      Mixing walkers at 3mph with cyclists at 10-20mph can never be easy.

  5. Andrew Bethune and others, we'd welcome your comments on here .. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Busway-News-Luton-Dunstable-Houghton-Regis-Guided-Bus-Way/148095765270232?ref=hl

    1. Thanks, Alan. It looks like your busway is suffering from the same problems as ours including a poorly designed cycle track. The Cambridgeshire Busway was fortunate to get funds from Sustrans that enabled the cycle track to be tarred for its full length. To begin with, we had a gravel surface. Hopefully you'll be spared the problem of flooding. By the way, I'm hoping to visit the Luton busway when it opens.

  6. Its good to have the busway, just for getting from Luton to Dunstable/Houghton Regis.
    Though they could have put a Stop at the Retail Park near B&Q . The nearest stop being Toland Close, a mile a away! . For taxpayers around the Chaul End Lane area its a Waste of Money. Cycle tracks not any better , full of stones & glass fragments. Half the track filled in with sharp stones, see damage to bike tyres & trim = compensation. Pedestrians on Track, ffs Its not a pavement! They need to stick to the local roads!
    I'll give it a try on busway Once, just for sake of it


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