Luton’s Labour controlled Council has given the green light to the £100M Luton-Dunstable Bus Way scheme even though at this stage they do not know for certain whether the government will cover the whole cost and do not know how the maintenance and running costs of the completed bus way will be met, claim Liberal Democrat councillors.
“There is no certainty that it can be built for the existing budget” says Liberal Democrat councillor Sid Rutstein.
“They seem to be keeping the cost from escalating by reducing the scheme. Instead of continuing all the way to the airport, they are now planning for it to end at Kimpton Road and continue on the ordinary highway from there. By how much more will it have to be shortened to stay within the budget by the time they eventually start to build it. Government was talking about a grant for half the cost with the Council borrowing the other half. Even if the government does promise to help towards the repayments how much help will they give and how long will the promise last?”
“No body disputes the need to improve public transport, especially between Luton and Dunstable, but there are still too many unanswered questions about this project for us to be sure it is the right answer and is affordable. It is irresponsible to commit the Council to a scheme which many people do not want and for which the true costs are still unknown.”