BUSINESS TRAVEL FEBRUARY 2017 57 2020. The benefits of this project will be brought about far quicker if our rail links are improved. Business travellers form an important part of our customer base. We know how important a quick and convenient journey is for these passengers and introducing four fast trains per hour will make a big difference when travelling to and from the airport. We are being supported in our efforts by Luton Borough Council (LBC), which is investing £200million in a l ight rail link which will operate 24 hours a day and replace the current shuttle bus f rom Luton Airport Parkway station to the terminal building. This will in turn mean the total journey time f rom London St Pancras could be less than 30 minutes - less time than it takes to get to either Stansted or Gatwick. However, this can only happen by introducing four fast trains per hour on the East Midlands line. As well as our passengers, the DfT and Train Operating Companies will benefit too. Introducing more fast rail services f rom London simply requires amendments to the current t imetable and no new infrastructure, meaning there is e ffectively no cost to the public purse. According to independent economic research the increased number of passengers using these services could generate an additional £110million in revenue for the rail industry. What’s more, the economic benefits to the whole country will be significant. LLA’s redevelopment is set to add an extra £1billion per year to the UK economy by 2030 and create over 10,000 new jobs. Improved rail connections will help accelerate that growth. LLA isn’t an isolated case either. The Airport Operators Association has recently found that a 5% improvement in average journey times to and from airports could generate £1.9billion for the UK economy and support an additional 32,000 jobs. By introducing four fast trains per hour we can not only help to alleviate some of the capacity pressure in the South East and provide an economic boost to the country, but also ensure that passengers’ journeys are as fast and hassle-free as possible. This should be an easy decision for the Government to make.
London Business Matters
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