Arriva celebrates 10 years of the Luton Busway

Arriva has been running buses on a guided busway in Luton for 10 years.

The bus operator has taken more than 20 million passengers on the Luton to Dunstable busway since it opened in 2013.

The guided busway allows buses to bypass road traffic and shuttle passengers quickly along a dedicated route.

It cuts the journey time between Dunstable and Luton and Luton Airport in half as the buses can travel at faster speeds on a route that is separate from other traffic.

The busway is narrower than a road and in order to travel on it, buses’ wheels are guided along, meaning the driver does not have to place their hands on the steering wheel.

The guided section is a rollway made from concrete beams. Standard buses that have been fitted with two small guide wheels can join the track and travel along it.

The Luton to Dunstable Busway runs between Luton Airport and Houghton Regis via Dunstable following the Dunstable branch railway line, which closed in 1989.
It runs parallel to the A505 (Dunstable Road) and A5065 (Hatters Way) for just over six miles and it also has a bus link to Milton Keynes. The scheme, which is one of only a handful of busways in the country, opened at the end of September 2013.

Arriva runs between 350 and 500 journeys per day on this unusual route, moving around 5,000 people per day.

Jon Evans, general manager of Arriva’s Luton depot said: “As a former bus driver, I was really excited to drive on the busway, it is so different to anything else we do. Having to let go of the steering while the bus steers itself is such a counterintuitive experience, it is dauting at first but you soon get used to it.

“The busway is a great way to get around and whizz past all the traffic on the roads as it takes 12 minutes to get from Dunstable to Luton, which of course has a great link with London Luton Airport.

“It’s a really successful route and takes two million passengers per year and we’re really proud to run our journeys on it.”

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