Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council inform Luton DART development

Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council (SLC) has informed the development of a new Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) to help #MakeTransportAccessible.

The new Luton DART, set to launch in 2023, will enable you to get on a train at London St Pancras Station to arrive at London Luton Airport (LLA) terminal just 30 minutes.  With a seamless transfer at Luton Airport Parkway station, the Luton DART will whisk you on to the airport terminal in under 4 minutes, with shuttles leaving every 4 minutes.


Image shows three Bedfordshire SLC members walking on the platform, alongside the DART Shuttle train. Two members are walking with their white canes.

Image shows Bedfordshire SLC members walking on the platform, alongside the DART Shuttle train


To inform its development, Bedfordshire SLC has joined the Luton Airport Accessibility Forum, toured Luton DART and terminal stations, and provided feedback.

SLC members also trialled the new DART shuttle which will transport passengers to the terminal in under four minutes.

Bedfordshire SLC also gave important feedback on the installation of tactile wayfinding routes, help points, toilets, and audio-visual announcements on the Luton DART.

This work also supports our national ‘Make transport accessible’ campaign.

Make Transport Accessible


Image shows Engagement Manager, Sam Leftwich, sitting on the DART shuttle with guide dog Lizzie, and two members of Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council.

Bedfordshire Engagement Manager, Samantha Leftwich, on the DART shuttle with SLC members


Samantha Leftwich, East England Engagement Manager, said:

“It was a privilege to be invited to the Luton DART accessibility tour to speak about our experiences from a visually impaired perspective. Too often, new buildings and services are launched without prior consultation with accessibility groups. It was good to be able to provide feedback to the team on a range of different mobility aids.

“We are looking forward to continuing this partnership and engaging with them further to ensure the service is accessible to blind and partially and sighted people.”

Emma Parkins, Marketing and Events Manager at Luton Rising, added:

“Luton Rising is pleased to have welcomed its first accessibility group, LLA Accessibility Forum, to trial the new Luton DART transit system.

From the very beginning of its construction, Luton Rising has sought accessibility feedback from a number of local charities. We owe much of our station’s accessibility design to their incredible input.

We are now re-engaging with charities to gain further insight on accessibility procedures ahead of our launch next year. We wish to thank them for their continued support.”

Phil Rutter, Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council member, said:

“It was a brilliant visit. The Luton DART team were very helpful and accommodating and noted down changes that needed to be made. We will be able to go back again before they have the official opening to ensure Luton DART is ready for the public to use.”


Bedfordshire SLC is looking forward to continuing their work with London Luton Airport and Luton Rising. This partnership will help ensure that blind and partially sighted people are able to experience inclusive and accessible travel.


Engagement Manager, Sam Leftwich, talking to Robbi Gain, member of Luton Rising Site Management Team for DART

Engagement Manager, Sam Leftwich, talking to Robbi Gain, member of Luton Rising Site Management Team for DART


Join Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council

Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council is looking for new members. If you are blind and partially sighted, live in Bedfordshire, and want to improve services for visually impaired people in your area, we want to hear from you.

Join us

Publication date: 10 November 2022

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