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Glasgow council claim Glasgow airport rail link costs overestimated

Glasgow City Council has taken the Scottish Government to task over the cancellation of the proposed Glasgow airport rail link (GARL).

It comes after Finance Secretary John Swinney shelved the scheme last month amid fears that costs were growing to £70 million more than originally estimated.

Council leader Steven Purcell said the Government had vastly overestimated the additional cost of connecting the proposed link to the existing rail system in Paisley, claiming the deficit ran to no more than £2.5 million.

“I would suggest that in a project of £397.5 million, it would be very easy to find £2.5 million of savings. We do it in local government all the time,” he said.

“I’m clear that that £70 million figure is not accurate and is misleading.”

The initial estimated cost of £170M-£210M for the rail link rose to almost £395M in December last year, according to the Scottish Government..

The decision to ditch the scheme caused an angry reaction among business and political figures, with Purcell accusing the Government of an anti-Glasgow bias.

A spokesman for First Minster Alex Salmond defended the decision and insisted GARL had become unaffordable, adding: “The bottom line is that the cost of the project had increased and our capital budget had been cut by Westminster. In these circumstances, something had to give.”



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