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Glasgow Airport Rail Link cancelled

The £210M Glasgow Airport Rail Link has been cancelled by the Scottish Government in a bid to reign in public spending

“We have reluctantly decided to cancel the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) project,” said Finance Secretary John Swinney

“This is a project that will incur capital costs for several years and the Government has been concerned at the rise in costs associated with the project due to significantly higher estimates of the cost of the need to relocate existing infrastructure compared to the figures shared with Parliament at the time of the legislation.”

The Scottish Government took over the running of the £210M GARL project from Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) in March this year, handing responsibility for the scheme to Transport Scotland

Ministers were understood to be concerned over SPT’s ability to deliver the scheme on time and to budget after it experienced delays and cost overruns on its Partick Interchange scheme.

Swinney signalled that the Government remained committed to other ongoing transport projects

“We will however be continuing to support the capacity and signalling improvements on the rail line between Glasgow and Paisley which will improve services to the travelling public in this area,” said Swinney.

“And I can announce today that we will support financially other measures to improve public transport in Glasgow and the west of Scotland as part of the Fastlink initiative to address connections to the New Southern General Hospital and the Commonwealth Games to which this Government continues to attach the highest priority.Increased resources have been allocated to continue the preparation for a Forth Replacement Crossing. Other elements of the Government’s capital programme will continue as they have been planned.”

Commenting, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Scotland) chief executive Alan Watt said:

“We are very disappointed but not wholly surprised given the known constraints on the Scottish Government’s budget. We hope that the project will not be shelved completely because of the preparatory work already done by the client and the industry, and that it may be reconsidered at a later stage.

“We also hope the Scottish Government is not considering further cuts to the Transport Scotland budget, and uses some of the savings from GARL on other much-needed infrastructure projects in Scotland.”

 

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