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Revised Glasgow Airport rail link plan is an offer not to be refused

IT was encouraging to read your positive approach to a Glasgow Airport rail link (Garl) and supportive mention of the network-connecting Crossrail line as vital components in achieving a coherent, better-used and more competitive alternative to car commuting ("Positive news as rail link is revived", Herald leader, August 27).

Transport Scotland should welcome a private sector consortium interest in securing a lower-cost airport link at no burden to the public purse, offering a more useful service across Scotland than was envisaged by the flawed Garl plan.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, correctly notes that time and circumstances have moved on from the 2009 axing of the intended airport link, especially given the massive parliamentary cross-party majority support (118-8) that passed the 2007 Garl Act. A range of significant social and economic improvements, local and regional, is represented by the revised airport link plan. This short (1.1 mile) airport rail connection and completion of the equally short and inexpensive (1.8 miles) of the Crossrail route through Glasgow represent coherent, vital links in improving connectivity and accessibility to create a Scottish rail system fit for purpose. The disconnected and fragmented SPT/ScotRail systems can never achieve this.

Previous experience of new and reopened lines and stations confirms usage far exceeds the low forecasts of patronage generated by computer modelling techniques.

With an improved airport rail link on offer, it is worth recollecting the vision expressed by former Scottish Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, on his website in March, 2008, intimating a firm belief that such a link would represent "a nationally significant project vital for the local and wider Scottish economy, especially in capturing the long-term benefits which will flow from the Commonwealth Games in 2014".

Given that this new initiative would be privately funded for Scotland's betterment, it is surely an offer that cannot be refused by his Government or Transport Scotland.

Ken Sutherland,

12A Dirleton Gate, Bearsden.

THE citizens of Glasgow can only hope that their wasteful city council does not have its way and burden them with a major expensive and uneconomical rail link to the airport.

We have suffered in Edinburgh when our Labour council forced through the tram link and then conspired with the Tories and Liberal Democrats to block attempts to cancel it in the Scottish Parliament. Thank goodness the Edinburgh Airport rail link was cancelled by the SNP Government. It was an expensive and unwanted waste of public money.

I would like to hear from these politicians why they insist on these rail/airport link projects? They benefit very few and seem to be for the prestige of politicians.

I have travelled on the Glasgow airport bus, which is comfortable and quick. If you are anywhere else in the city a taxi is a far better option. In Edinburgh, we are told our much-derided trams will take longer to reach the airport than the buses.

So think again, Glasgow. I am sure there are much better things on which to spend hundreds of millions of pounds than massaging the egos of councillors.

There are Glasgow citizens more in need of help and funding in other ways.

Tony Grahame,

17 Silverknowes Gardens,

Edinburgh.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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