Light rail and trams

04.02.19

Plans to scrap Glasgow Airport rail link a ‘betrayal of the city’ claims Labour MP

The decision to scrap plans for a direct rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre in favour of new plans for a shuttle pod system has been branded as a “betrayal for the city” by a Labour MP.

Last week, following meetings with the Scottish transport minister and representatives from the council and airport, it was announced that a business plan was now being worked on for a ‘personal rapid transit’ system between the airport and Paisley.

This seemingly marked the end of the long-awaited plans to established a tram-train link which has been hit by concerns over capacity, and Glasgow Labour leader Frank McAveety has responded in protest.

McAveety criticised the SNP for “dragging their heels” over the construction of the airport link, and said: “What has Glasgow done to deserve this?

“This is the second time that Glasgow has had its rail link project axed by the SNP.

“Glasgow is one of few cities of its size that does not have a dedicated rail link to its airport.

“This is a betrayal for the city. The Glasgow Airport Rail Link project has undergone review after review.

“Our city is growing year-on-year and continues to be the powerhouse of the Scottish economy.

“It’s time the SNP stopped dragging their feet, put the Glasgow Airport Rail Link project back on track, and invested in the railway network that our city needs.”

A direct rail link was put forward in 2014 as part of a major £1.13bn deal with Glasgow City Region and was expected to be operational by 2025, but has been stalled by concerns over a lack of capacity.

The tram-train proposals hit problems when a study claimed it would negatively impact on the other services in the West of Scotland and on Central Station, putting most officials off the idea.

Glasgow Airport’s managing director has publicly called for urgent action to improve rail links, and the previous week opposition parties in Scotland made a plea to Holyrood to build the link as a “matter of urgency.”

Glasgow City Council leader, Susan Aitken said she would continue to listen to ideas and concerns over the viability of a rail link and reemphasised her commitment to improving connectivity to Glasgow Airport.

But she stated: “However, serious doubts remain about the viability of the option Mr McAveety continues to champion, about major detrimental impacts upon the daily running of the country’s biggest railway station, and whether tram-train financially stacks up.”

Image credit - theasis

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