Luton footbridge closes for improvement work
The footbridge between Midland Road and Luton Railway Station will be temporarily closed to pedestrians over two weekends as the next phase of regeneration work gets under way in Luton's Station Quarter.
Luton Borough Council engineers will be carrying out essential preparatory works ahead of full replacement of the footbridge, when it will be closed for around three weeks in September/October.
Initially, the footbridge will be closed from 8am on Saturday 24 July until 8am on Sunday 25 July, and then from 8am on Saturday 31 July until 8am on Sunday 1 August.
The signed diversion route will be along Midland Road, under the Old Bedford Road/Guildford Street railway bridge and along Station Road to the main Station entrance. A free minibus service will also be in operation for people with disabilities or who need assistance with their journey (from 8am-7pm both days).
When complete, the new wider and better-lit footbridge will help provide a much-needed improved pedestrian link not only between the new 740-space multi-storey station car park and the railway platforms but also between High Town and Luton town centre.
This will be further enhanced with creation of a new ground-level footway between the railway station and Bute Street later in the year, work which will also see demolition of the existing covered footbridge and creation of the first phase of a new public Station Square.
Exciting plans for the regeneration of the Station Quarter over the coming years also include a new bus interchange by the end of 2011, opening of the Luton Dunstable Busway in 2012 and completion of the inner ring road, subject to funding, in 2013, while high-quality new office and retail accommodation is earmarked for 2014.
Meanwhile Network Rail is scheduled to complete lengthening of the Thameslink platforms at Luton railway station by the end of this year, with the first longer 12-car trains due to enter service in December 2011. Network Rail is also currently exploring funding options for an improved railway station, incorporating a new disability-access platform bridge.
Confirmed dates for future works will be announced in due course.