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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 09:03 GMT
Chance to have a say on rail link
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Leaflets will go to homes and businesses along the planned route
People are being asked to have their say on plans for a 140m rail link to serve Glasgow Airport.

A 12-week consultation exercise will include exhibitions, leaflets and public meetings.

The planned route would include track between Shields Junction and Paisley Gilmour Street station and Paisley St James station and the airport.

Officials have admitted the proposals, first suggested 15 years ago, would affect playing fields in St James Park.

Councillor Alistair Watson, of Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT), said: "The preferred route would lead to the loss of some of the playing fields at St James Park.

"We realise this is a big concern for many people living in Paisley but we are working closely with Renfrewshire Council and the local community to find a solution to this."

The link is vital to prevent traffic on the M8 grinding to a halt completely
Councillor Alistair Watson
Strathclyde Passenger Transport

He claimed that building a tunnel under the park would cost three times the amount of the proposed scheme.

Passenger numbers at Glasgow Airport, according to the authorities, are set to virtually double from 8.2 million by 2030.

As many as 95% of passengers at the moment get to the airport by car and warnings have been issued that the M8 will not be able to cope with the predicted increase in traffic.

Officials argue that fewer traffic jams could lead to economic advantages, including;

  • an investment boost triggered by large-scale infrastructure

  • benefits to business

  • new job markets

  • and a tourism lift for Glasgow.

Councillor Watson, who says the proposed route mainly follows existing tracks, argued: "The Glasgow Airport Rail Link is vital to prevent traffic on the M8 grinding to a halt completely.

"Information packs are available on request and I will be talking face-to-face with those residents and businesses that are directly affected by the link."

Transport Minister Nicol Stephen added: "The recent Scottish budget underlined our commitment to investing in major public transport improvements such as a new direct rail link to Glasgow Airport.

"By investing in new infrastructure projects, we can make a real difference for the thousands of passengers who stand to benefit."

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