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Glasgow leaders formally approve direct tram-train airport link project

Glasgow City Council leaders have today formally approved plans to build a direct rail link between the airport, Paisley and Glasgow city centre after the final plans were unveiled in a November meeting.

The £144m Glasgow Airport Access Project will be the flagship project of the Glasgow City Region Deal, a devolution deal made between eight neighbouring local authorities across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley – with Glasgow Airport already adding £170m annually to the region’s economy.

The plans proposed a new system of transporting passengers to and from the airport on specially designed tram-trains using Glasgow’s existing railway network and a new light rail spur from Paisley to the airport.

Cllr Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council leader and lead for enterprise on the Glasgow City Region cabinet, said yesterday: “This project is simply vital to securing the long-term success of the local and regional economies.

“The direct rail link will help increase annual passenger numbers from nine to 13 million by 2030. It will also enhance the benefits of our other City Deal projects, which are designed to unlock our economic potential, creating a world class business and commercial location with excellent links across the Clyde and into our town and city centres.”

Figures released by the ORR last week revealed how vital rail already is to the Scottish economy as Glasgow Central Station was found to be the busiest in the UK outside of the capital London, while Paisley Gilmour St is the fourth busiest in Scotland.

The project was endorsed by the city region’s cabinet after being approved by both Renfrewshire and Glasgow City councils in recent weeks. Construction of the rail link is expected to begin in 2022 with the system due to be fully operational in 2025.

Cllr Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said of the project: “A direct rail link to Glasgow Airport has been an ambition for a long time, but it's now going to be a reality.

“It's the single biggest project in our city deal and is of crucial importance to the economy of the whole Glasgow City Region. It will help us deliver more jobs, bring in more inward investment and vastly improve the customer experience.”

The tram-train model was chosen after research found that the direct link, expected to reduce the time for all trips to the airport from Glasgow city centre, would most encourage people to use public transport to travel to and from the airport.

Glasgow Airport's head of planning and development, Ross Nimmo, fully supported the plans for the direct rail link, arguing: “It has a very strong business case, with conservative estimates suggesting the airport is set to become one of the busiest train stations in Scotland.

“This is great news for travellers, and whether they choose the train, the bus or the car, Glasgow Airport will be easier to get to than ever before.”

(Image c. David Cheskin)

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Roger Capel, Sheffield & Glossop   13/12/2016 at 13:12

As a South Yorkshire council tax payer contributing to Notwork Fail's disastrous performance on our tram-train project, I hope that Transport Scotland will go for an East-West Rail type of organisation, totally divorced from NR & even (shock-horror!) involving the Germans at DB who already know how to do it.

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