UPDATED ON 21/03/23

Luton Council has confirmed that the DART will open on March 27.

The long-awaited Luton Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) system is expected to fully open “around the end of March”.

The direct air-rail transit link between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport had originally been due to open in 2020, but delays have led the project’s unveiling to be postponed several times, and its cost to rise from £200 million to over £280 million.

Last month it was announced that the service would launch in mid-April however this has been brought forward, with passengers able to experience the service on a restricted timetable from March 10. Passengers who have a ticket for the existing bus transfer will be invited to take the Luton DART at no additional charge.

The trains are expected to operate initially for around four hours per day, and gradually increase to a 24-hour service by the end of the month. The date for full commercial operations is set to be announced “on or around” March 13.

The driverless 1.4 mile line will connect the station with the airport terminal in under four minutes.

Currently travellers have to take a shuttle bus service between the station and the airport, and Luton Rising – the council-owned body that runs London Luton airport – said that the fastest journey from London St Pancras International to Luton airport will take 32 minutes.

The DART transfer will be included in any rail ticket where customers choose Luton airport as the start or end point of the journey.

Those with a concessionary bus pass will also be entitled to free travel on the DART, while Luton residents can apply for half-priced travel. Details on this will be announced soon.

In December King Charles III took a ride on the Luton DART during his visit to the town.

lutonrising.org.uk, london-luton.co.uk