Monday, 16 January 2012

Houghton Regis ~ Dunstable ~ Luton Busway

Stakeholder Briefing Session
16th January 2012

Having been invited to the above event today it very interesting to hear from the many people involved in the above mentioned busway.

Although this busway has proved to be a bone of contention for many, it is here, it will stay and after hearing from all parties involved today it will hopefully prove to be a real asset to the people of our town for many reasons.

While the busway is under construction it has lead to thirteen new businesses along its route, around one and half million pounds have been invested in these. New businesses lead to an increase in employment and with immediate access to the busway hopefully employment for local people here in Dunstable.

Some investment has come from a large development of about seven thousand houses to the north of Houghton Regis which will house approximately seventeen and a half thousand people. With this comes funding for the Woodside Link Road, which in turn means more businesses will want to establish themselves in the Dunstable Industrial unit. More businesses more employment.

Since the busway has begun to be established there has been an increase to 86% occupancy of shops in Dunstable not withstanding the problems with occupancy in the Quadrant Shopping Centre.

More interest in the town is shown in the re development of the Dukeminster Estate. This area has been falling in to decline for some years. A developer is now interested and is seeking planning permission for housing, care home facilities, business and small retail unit.

There is talk, which has even been in the news today of increasing the capacity of Luton Airport and for every one million travellers they need to employ seven hundred and fifty thousand people. You could live in Dunstable and travel to the Airport to work without taking your car.

This will be the fourth longest busway in the world and with the busway being not only on budget but showing at the moment to be making possible savings of four million pounds, it is also slightly in front for completion. I believe we all to a certain degree will remain scepitcal until we see how this new busway works and not in a selfish way but as a resident of Dunstable to Dunstable's advantage we shall wait with anticipation to it's opening Easter of 2013 or possibly earlier to see how it develops. Hopefully we can all look forward positively to the busway as it continues to attract many new investors to our town of Dunstable.

While I took notes to relay this information to you, it is correct to the best of my knowledge ~ I hope you see it as positive news about the Houghton Regis ~ Dunstable ~ Luton Busway. For more detailed information please contact Central Bedfordshire Council in the first instance who will be able to guide you to the correct areas for specific queries.


  1. 1st question is, what is the current level of overspend above the original estimate? (It was 8 million last summer)
    2nd. Where are these 13 new companys that have opened?
    Also the new housing north of Houghton Regis is unlikely to be constructed for many years.
    There are still as many empty shops in Dunstable as there were a year ago, if not more. So where on earth does this 86% figure come from.

  2. Hi,
    Thank you for your comment 'Rockfather', as explained in the bottom paragraph I took notes from yesterdays meeting. It was as explained given to the people attending the session by all parties concerned and involved in the busway. The thirteen new businesses are being developed along the route. As to when the construction in Houghton Regis of the 7,000 homes will take place was not mentioned other than the owners where paying a large contribution to road structure developments. As for the quote of 86% of shop occupency not including the Quadrant shopping centre, these were figures also quoted at the session. I have reported back as to what was quoted. Should you wish to know the finer details as to where these figures originated. Please contact Central Bedfordshire Council ~ Cllr Nigel Young who I am sure will be able to either help you or pass you in the right direction. Thank you for showing an interest.