Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 21:12 UK

New row over Games transport link

Athletes' Village
A 38.5 hectare site in Dalmarnock will be transformed into the athletes' village

A new row has broken out over the Scottish government's commitment to transport projects linked to Glasgow's hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

Council leader Steven Purcell said the SNP had refused to say if it would guarantee a £2.3m EU loan for the refurbishment of Dalmarnock station.

He also complained that first minister Alex Salmond refused to discuss the scrapping of the airport rail link.

Mr Salmond said he hoped talks on the Dalmarnock project could "go forward".

A 38.5 hectare site in Dalmarnock, in the city's east end, will be the site of the athletes' village for the 2014 games.

I was told to grow up. Behave like a grown up were the exact words
Steven Purcell
Glasgow City Council leader

Mr Purcell said the station's refurbishment was an essential part of the city's preparations.

He told BBC Scotland: "The Commonwealth Games Federation consider this a must happen project. It will be the gateway to the games.

"Currently it is a very run down, dilapidated, badly-lit station. It has issues of vandalism and crime. We need to make a significant investment to refurbish it."

'No guarantee'

Mr Purcell said the only thing standing in the way of the refurbishment was the Scottish government's "signing of a piece of paper to the European Union".

Speaking after a meeting with Alex Salmond in Edinburgh, he said: "There's only one issue holding that refurbishment back and that is the Scottish government underwriting the European Union funding application - standard practice in many European funding issues.

Artists impression of rail link
The decision to scrap the rail link has been criticised by Labour

"They have been reluctant to do so, so far. I sought that guarantee tonight and it failed to materialise."

Mr Purcell said the first minister had also refused to discuss the scrapping of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, announced last week by Finance Secretary John Swinney.

"I was told to grow up. Behave like a grown up were the exact words," he said.

Mr Salmond said the Labour council leader had not asked for the rail link to be reinstated and described the discussion at Holyrood as "useful".

He insisted the rail link was not essential to the running of the 2014 Games.

He said: "I explained, as Mr Swinney did, that in the circumstances of capital cuts, you have to make tough decisions.

"We have a disagreement about GARL but hopefully we can put that to one side and get on with delivering the games - and in particular looking at the enhanced projects for the whole of Glasgow."

He cited "huge" capital spending already earmarked for Glasgow.

"I certainly hope we can go forward with substantial discussions on Dalmarnock and the Fastlink (bus project) ideas," he said.



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