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Call for improved transport links to Glasgow Airport

PUBLIC transport links to Glasgow Airport must be improved, says an official report on the UK's aviation sector which recommends building a tram link to carry passengers to and from the terminal.

The UK Government's Airport Commission made the suggestion in an interim report which also advocates building additional runways at either Heathrow or Gatwick Airports to cope with increasing demand.

It stated: "There is a need for improved public transport access to Glasgow Airport.

In the short-term, the Commission recommends that the Scottish Executive develop enhanced bus links to the airport. However, looking beyond this, the Scottish Executive should work with Network Rail and other stakeholders to explore other options, including light-rail options."

The recommendation was welcomed by both Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Airport, which both supported the scrapped Glasgow Airport Rail Link.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it was awaiting the findings of an independent report into the "impacts, costs, benefits and risks" of various transport options for the airport, due early next year. Light and heavy rail are understood to be among the options recommended by consultants.

Meanwhile, Scotland's two largest airports were split on whether to back expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick. Glasgow belongs to Heathrow Airport Holdings, while Edinburgh is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, which also controls Gatwick and London City.

Edinburgh chief executive Gordon Dewar said he did not believe an extra runway "will ever be built" at Heathrow due to local opposition, leaving Scots squeezed for surface access.

However, a spokesman for Glasgow said it was vital for Scotland to "enhance our links with successful hubs such as Heathrow" if it was to remain competitive.

He added: "International connectivity, and particularly long-haul connectivity in the UK, is dominated by Heathrow."

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