A FRESH row has broken out between the SNP and Labour over the future of a rail link at Glasgow Airport as ministers were accused of trying to derail it before it has begun.

The leader of Glasgow City Council, Frank McAveety, hit out after the Scottish Government appeared to cast doubt on hopes of reviving a direct rail line between the airport and Glasgow city centre hours after councillors unveiled their plans to seek City Deal funding for the project.

In a statement on Thursday, the Scottish Government warned of the "risks and uncertainties" associated with the planned schemes.

Glasgow and Renfrewshire Council have drawn up business cases for both a tram-train link and personal rapid transit system, as an alternative to the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (Garl) which was axed by the SNP government in 2009 amid spiralling costs.

The cancellation of the project has remained a flashpoint in relations between SNP ministers and the Labour-led administrations at Glasgow and Renfrewshire councils.

HeraldScotland: Glasgow city council leader Frank McAveety has hit back at the Scottish Government for casting doubt on plans for a rail link at Glasgow AirportGlasgow city council leader Frank McAveety has hit back at the Scottish Government for casting doubt on plans for a rail link at Glasgow Airport

Mr McAveety said the Scottish Government seemed to be "shaping up to block the latest rail link project".

He added: "The business case clearly identifies the risks in line with the City Deal framework that has been previously agreed with the Scottish and UK governments.

"The statements made by the Scottish Government, raising questions about the very future of the project, are to say the least disappointing, especially since it is one of the signatories of the City Deal itself. No such concerns about the new rail link project have been raised by the partner UK government. These comments could be seen as the start of the political derailing of the entire project."

The councils' business case estimates that a tram-train hybrid could be completed by 2025 at an estimated cost of £144 million.

The rapid transit option, with an estimated price tag of £102m, would transport passengers in bubble-car style pods between the airport and Paisley Gilmour Street station, where they could catch a connecting train to Glasgow Central.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "The Scottish Government is fully supportive of the City Deal and officials continue to engage with the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Partnership to ensure the Deal's success.

"We welcomed the inclusion of improved surface access to Glasgow Airport in the Deal however a number of the proposed transport projects, including the Airport Access project, carry risks and uncertainties that are sufficiently material to warrant taking stock before significant sums are committed to them.”