St Albans councillor grills Luton Airport bosses over £40 hamburger meal


Hamburger - Credit: Getty Images

The grilling of Luton Airport’s bosses took an absurd turn at a recent meeting, when a councillor was more concerned about the rising price of his hamburger than the environmental impact of expansion.

While the majority of St Albans district councillors at a scrutiny committee meeting asked hard questions about the effect of near-doubling passenger numbers upon local traffic, noise and the environment, Cllr Simon Calder spoke out about the impact on his wallet.

In between others’ questions about the height of planes flying over our district and increased traffic using Lower Luton Road to and from the airport, Cllr Simon Calder said: “I have six children. When we have a burger meal here [in St Albans], it costs £25.

“Going to Luton, it’s £40. Is there any way … do you have any sway with what they charge?”

To which Luton’s operations director Neil Thompson replied: “No, they are private companies.”

Cllr Calder later tried a different tack. As he is a local bus driver, he asked Neil: “I know my bus company runs the 636 [Luton-Hatfield], but it only goes to the Luton bus station.

“How much influence do you have over bus companies to try and work a way in – is there any financial incentive that you will give a bus company to bring them into Luton Airport?”

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A second airport representative replied that a “conversation could be arranged” as Luton has a “significant ambition” to increase the number of passengers and staff accessing the airport by public transport, including by coach.

But in regards to local bus routes, he said the lack of demand was a ‘challenge’ that might be overcome by taking a “collaborative approach with local authorities to improve connectivity”.