Luton DART (Direct Air – Rail Transport)


Meet your Avatar: Jordan Reynolds

Jordan Reynolds is a British boxer who is a prominent member of the Team GB boxing team, with aspirations of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Jordan was born in Luton and used to be a baggage handler at Luton Airport. Jordan is passionate about helping young people and is active within the local community. Jordan often visits schools to inspire them to achieve anything they want, even if they’re told it’s unrealistic.

The Luton DART (Direct Air – Rail Transport) project is a joint venture project between VolkerFitzpatrick and Kier known as VFK.  VFK have been contracted by London Luton Airport Limited to construct the new state-of-the-art £225m, 2.1km guided mass passenger transit system linking the London Luton Airport terminal building to Luton Airport Parkway mainline station, due to open in 2021. The project forms part of Luton Borough Council’s £1.5 billion Luton Investment Framework to transform Luton and secure long-term economic growth benefiting local business and ensuring the local community have access to high quality employment opportunities.

The scope of the project is the design, execution and completion of the Luton DART including:

  • DART Parkway and Central Terminal stations;
  • The Gateway Bridge;
  • The Viaduct;
  • The Tunnel and approaches;
  • Maintenance area.

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London Luton Airport caters for around 15 million passengers per year, flying to over 150 destinations across Europe, Africa and Asia and continues to expand its route network.  The airport currently employs around 10,000 people and indirectly supports nearly 18,000 jobs, making it a major economic contributor to the UK.  By 2020 the airport expects passenger capacity to grow to 18 million per year and is investing in developing and improving the passenger experience. Improvements include:

  • Redesign of the terminal building to create a more passenger friendly experience;
  • Doubling of the retail space and introducing new shopping and dining options;
  • Doubling the size of the security search capacity, immigration and baggage reclaim areas;
  • A new multi-story short-stay car park with 1,700 spaces;
  • An expansion of airlines, routes and frequencies to popular cities with additional destinations such as Dubai, Orlando and Cancun.

The Luton DART project plays a vital role in the development of the airport and the improvement of the customer experience, in peak times the DART will depart the stations every 4 minutes.

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The Luton DART project has a large social value ambition to support the economic development of the local area and has committed to the following:

Construction Skills Training Hub

  • Deliver construction specific training opportunities to over 750 Luton residents.
  • Provide up to 2 weeks relevant practical training to provide basic core skills that meet the needs of the industry.
  • Provide training opportunities to those from hard-to-reach, under-represented and disadvantaged groups.
  • Provide job opportunities, apprenticeships and work experience opportunities to those who successfully complete the training programmes.

National Skills Academy for Construction

  • Recruit 30 apprentices onto the Luton DART project.
  • Provide work experience opportunities for 25 people in education and 15 people outside education, training or employment.
  • Create 78 new jobs for local people on the project.
  • Attend at least 30 students careers information, advice and guidance events.
  • Provide training and qualification interventions of over 250 sub-contractor workforce.

Community Involvement

  • 80% of materials spend (excluding steel and aggregate) from within 20 miles of Luton.
  • 90% of plant procures from within 20 miles of Luton.
  • 100% of subcontract and materials tenders to include supplier from within 20 miles of Luton.
  • 100% of subcontractors to sign up to project Social Value Charter.
  • To source over 80% of the unskilled project workforce from within 20 miles of Luton.
  • To source 100% of unskilled new recruits from within 20 miles of Luton.
  • To pay the entire workforce at least the minimum UK Living wage (excluding apprentices).
  • To source at least 65% of skilled workforce within 20 miles or one hour distance travel from Luton.
  • Deliver Equality & Diversity training to 100% of the workforce.
  • Deliver 2 Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Construction’ events.
  • Provide site visits for 6 local schools/colleges per year.
  • Provide site visits for 4 community groups per year.
  • Provide 20 days of work experience for people in education per year.
  • Provide 16 days of work experience for people not in education, training or employment per year.
  • Train 100 of the Luton DART workforce to be ‘Dementia Friends’ for Luton.

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The Luton DART is still in the early stages of development but have currently recruited or are actively recruiting:

  • 1 Civil Engineering Level 3 apprentice.
  • 2 Civil Engineering degree apprentices.
  • 6 Business Administration Level 3 apprentices.
  • 1 Accounts Assistant Level 3 apprentice.
  • 4 graduates (Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying).
  • 1 Industrial placement undergraduate quantity surveyor.

“The Council is proud to be at the forefront of creating a brighter future for Luton, and this is another exciting landmark moment in the ongoing transformation of our town under the £1.5 billion Luton Investment Framework. The Luton DART will benefit not only airport passengers but also the people and businesses of Luton in that it supports our ambitions to secure long-term economic growth and ensure local people have access to high-quality employment opportunities. ”


“As more and more passengers choose to travel through London Luton Airport, it has never been more important that they can reach the airport easily. The DART represents a great stride. To make the journey even better, we are also calling for the introduction of four fast trains per hour at Luton Airport Parkway station as part of the new East Midlands rail franchise. These developments will reduce the journey time from central London to under 30 minutes.”


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