Next month, Network Rail will begin a major project to upgrade all of the lifts at Luton Airport Parkway station in a £900,000 investment which will make them more reliable.
From Monday, 20 July, Network Rail engineers will be removing the old lifts on platforms 2, 3 and 4 and installing new ones. This will improve passenger experience at the station by making the lifts more modern and reliable.
The project will mean major changes to how people use the station as the lifts will not be able to be used whilst this work takes place. This means that there will be no step-free access to platforms 2, 3 and 4, as well as the main entrance, until the project is completed in November.
During this time, additional staff will be available to help passengers with heavy luggage on the stairs and escalators. Passengers who require step-free access should contact the dedicated assisted travel team in advance on 0800 058 2844 or email email@example.com to make alternative journey arrangements.
Closing all three lifts at the same time means that the project to replace them can be completed much quicker than if they were closed separately, minimising the overall disruption for passengers.
Passengers are reminded that they should continue to avoid public transport where possible. People who have to travel must also wear face coverings, which are mandatory on public transport. Some passengers are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.
Network Rail is strongly advising those who need to travel and require assistance to allow plenty of time for their journeys, as they may need to change trains, or get on and off their train at an alternative station, and then use a taxi shuttle to get to the airport. Passengers can find out how their journeys are impacted by visiting networkrail.co.uk/LAP. They can also check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for the East Midlands for Network Rail, said: “We would like to apologise in advance to any passengers who will be impacted by the closure of the lifts at Luton Airport Parkway station.
“This lift replacement work is essential to improve reliability and, in the long run, will make moving around the station easier.
“We are working with Govia Thameslink Railway to keep disruption to a minimum. We advise passengers to plan ahead and allow plenty of time for their journeys.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We thank our passengers for their patience while this vital work is carried out, and we continue to work with Network Rail, East Midlands Railway and Luton Airport to minimise the inconvenience.
“We will have extra staff on hand to help people with heavy luggage up and down stairs. We recommend passengers who need step-free access to contact our assisted travel service in advance, by phone or email, and we will arrange support to travel via an alternative station at no extra cost.”
Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for EMR said: “From Monday 20 July, we are advising any passengers travelling to or from Luton Airport Parkway to allow extra time for their journey due to the lift works taking place.
“As there will be no step-free access to the main entrance from the platforms for the duration of this work, any passengers who require step free access are advised to contact the assisted travel service.
“We would like to thank our passengers for their patience during this time.”