StreetCars upgrade Luton airport link

StreetCars upgrade Luton airport link Spare StreetCars put to use at Luton.
FIRST has found a use for four of the spare Wrightbus StreetCars built for its ‘ftr’ services on a park-and-ride operation at Luton Airport. They are running between the airport and Luton Airport Parkway railway station, operating as feeders to First Capital Connect’s rail services. They replace three small buses operated by NCP.

The use of bigger buses reflects growth in the number of people using the airport rail link, which has more than doubled since the Parkway station opened in 1999. It now carries almost 10 million people a year.

NCP’s service ran every 15 minutes for 18 hours a day; the new First operation runs every 10 minutes for 19 hours a day and also connects with all trains using Luton Airport Parkway during the night.

First Capital Connect says the StreetCars represent an investment of over £1.3million, equal to £325,000 per bus.

Wrightbus has built 39 StreetCars for First, all to Euro 3 specification. There are 17 in service at Leeds, 12 at York and now four at Luton. Of the remaining six, one is in use with First to promote the ‘ftr’ concept and five are still with Wrightbus.

Swansea was identified in 2006 as the third city where ‘ftr’ would operate. This service, being promoted as Swansea Metro, will require ten StreetCars. It was planned to start later this year, but is now to be launched in April 2009.