HS2

28.11.16

Glasgow confirms plans for £144m tram-train link to airport

A new tram-train link has been chosen as the preferred project to link Glasgow Airport and the city centre.

Cllr Mark Macmillan, leader of Renfrewshire Council, unveiled plans for the £144.3m development at a meeting on 24 November.

The Glasgow Airport Access Project would see specially-designed tram-trains running on existing conventional rail and a new light rail spur from Paisley.

Cllr Macmillan argued the transport development was “vital” and would bring “huge benefits to Renfrewshire and the rest of Glasgow city-region”.

The plans are set to be discussed by Glasgow and Renfrewshire councils before being approved by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet in December. Construction is due to begin in 2022, with the line set to open in 2025.

The link is a flagship element of the £1.13bn Glasgow City Region city deal and will help deliver an increase in annual passenger numbers at the airport from eight to 13 million by 2030.

Cllr Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “This announcement represents a significant milestone in the journey we've been on for many years.

“We are committed to delivering this tram-train link and, best of all, the money to pay for it is already in the bank.”

The tram-train was chosen over a £102m light rail option because it was thought to offer the best chance of encouraging people to travel to the airport by public transport.

Currently, four-fifths of journeys to the airport are by car, contributing to congestion on the M8.

Ros Nimmo, head of planning and development for Glasgow Airport, said there was “a very strong business case” for the tram-train, as the airport is expected to become “one of the busiest train stations in Scotland”.

The proposed services would see four trains an hour running, with a total journey time of just 16.5 minutes.

The interchange point at Paisley Gilmour Street would enable passengers from the Paisley area and from the Ayrshire and Inverclyde rail lines to access the service to the airport without having to travel via the city centre.

Humza Yousaf MSP, the Scottish transport minister, said he would work with the project team to “produce a robust and transparent business case” accompanied by “realistic and well informed” cost assessments.

In February, the Transport Select Committee called for better rail connections to UK airports. A 24-hour light rail link to Luton Airport is also due to open in 2020.

(Image c. Glasgow City Council)

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Comments

Jerry Alderson   29/11/2016 at 20:34

"Construction is due to begin in 2022, with the line set to open in 2025" - wow, before the Sheffield-Rotherham tram-train then!!!

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