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Crunch talks to revive Glasgow Airport rail link

3048175 glasgow airport tram train

Scottish opposition parties have united to revive plans for a rail link between Glasgow Central Station and the city’s airport as part of the £1.13bn Glasgow City Region deal. 

Plans for a rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city’s Central railway station were first proposed in the early 2000s but were shelved after budget cuts in 2009. Plans were then resubmitted in 2016 but have so far struggled to gain traction.  

However, Scottish Government transport and infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson confirmed that cross-party talks will be held this week to attempt to revive the project. 

The Glasgow Airport Access Project would have used specially designed tram-trains on existing track. It also involves buildig a new light rail spur from Paisley to the airport. Under the 2016 proposal construction is due to begin in 2022 and the link will come into operation in 2025.

Scottish Labour MSP Colin Smyth called for the link to be reconsidered. 

“Failure to tackle capacity at Central Station does not justify the lack of action,” he said. “The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland need to work with the Glasgow city region partners to find solutions, not more excuses […] it’s the largest UK airport that isn’t served by rail, a rail link is badly needed.” 

The 1.7km rail link would take passengers from the city centre to the airport in just 16 minutes. It is hoped that a rail link would also reduce from 16,000 vehicles per day the number of cars using the motorway between Glasgow and the airport.  

Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene told the Scottish Parliament that building the link is a “matter of urgency”. 

“We agree that this Glasgow Airport rail link needs to be progressed as a matter of urgency,” he said. “There are clear and vital reasons why this project should go ahead. There are major connectivity issues in connecting Glasgow Airport to the west region.” 

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