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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 20:10 GMT
Glasgow rail link gets go-ahead
Image of Glasgow Airport train platform
The scheme involves a new elevated station at Glasgow Airport
The rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre has been approved by MSPs.

The Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill was backed by 118 votes to eight with no abstentions.

There had been concerns that the 160m project, to encourage passengers to use Glasgow Airport, could be undermined by a similar project in Edinburgh.

The transport minister dismissed the claims and said there were robust business cases for both schemes.

The private bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

The new line involves upgrading five-and-a-half miles of track and laying one mile of track between Paisley St James Station and Glasgow Airport.

If we are to attract and keep businesses in Scotland we need the Glasgow Airport Rail Link
Tavish Scott
Transport Minister

The new track could be up and running in three years.

Before the vote Transport Minister Tavish Scott said the scheme was part of "fundamental changes" to the railway network.

He added: "If we are to attract and keep businesses in Scotland we need the Glasgow Airport Rail Link."

Labour MSP for Paisley North, Wendy Alexander, claimed the link would create 650 jobs in Renfrewshire in 10 years, and 700 more in Paisley town centre once the line started to operate.

'Absurd spectacle'

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said he was giving the scheme a "cool, cautious, distinctly unenthusiastic" welcome.

He said: "You have the absurd spectacle of government ministers saying on the one hand that climate change is the greatest overriding threat to society and to civilisation - and on the other hand saying that we should be flying three times as much."

Scottish Socialist Party MSP Frances Curran said the rail link was a lost opportunity to provide better public transport for the area.

"It is the wrong route and it's by-passing the communities in that area who won't have easy access to that rail link," she said.




SEE ALSO
Airport rail link 'will pitch in'
28 Nov 06 |  Glasgow and West
MSPs demand airport link pitches
30 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
'Master plan' to expand airport
09 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Airport rail link stays on track
08 Jun 06 |  Scotland

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