THE world’s longest moving walkway is the latest suggestion to end the long running saga of linking Glasgow Airport and the city centre.

Architect Maurice Rodger has mooted the mile long sky travelator as an affordable solution to the Glasgow Airport rail link which he claims would cut the cost from £144 million to just £10 million.

Mr Rodger of ID>A Design has drawn up a rough plan to create a new train station on the Glasgow to Wemyss Bay line near the Ferguslie Park housing estate in Paisley.

Then he would link the station to the Glasgow Airport terminal with the moving walkway which he believes would take pedestrians to the terminal in just eight minutes.

Guinness World Records says the longest single moving walkway in a city is about 670 feet in length and carries pedestrians underneath the parks and gardens of The Domain area in Sydney, Australia. The walkway is gently inclined and moves at 1.5 mph, taking just over 5 minutes to complete one length.


Mr Rodger’s proposal came after the future of the £144 million proposed tram-train link between the airport and the city centre looked to be in trouble after a report from transport specialists Jacobs found the current business plan for the link would slow down existing services and take space at Central Station needed for far busier trains.

Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken later said the proposed tram-train link was still on track, and that the  council will “look again at it” and “take on board” recent concerns about the project.

The tram-train scheme from Glasgow Central Station to Abbotsinch was itself a cut-price alternative to the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (Garl).

But Mr Rodger believes in his proposal, which is inspired by the Prestwick Airport train station plan, which he say he played a part in and opened 23 years ago.

Glasgow Prestwick is the only airport in Scotland currently served by its own railway station which is accessible through a covered walkway to and from the airport. It is served by half-hourly trains in each direction to Glasgow Central and Ayr and occasional services to Kilmarnock and stations beyond Ayr.


Mr Rodger, 71, who began his career as an architect 45 years ago with the Irvine New Town Development Corporation, says the same could easily done to serve Glasgow Airport.

The station plan with an airbridge that would be less than half the length of the proposed tram track could be in operation in two years, he claims.

“It’s such as radically simple idea, that I thought I would share it with the rest of the world. I am surprised nobody has thought of it,” he said.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf commissioned the report from Jacobs which also found the scheme would struggle to win passengers as it would be slower and less convenient than the bus for many people.


They also found it would hit the economies of Ayrshire and Inverclyde as trains carrying hundreds of commuters would be slowed by two and a half minutes to make away for trams carrying far fewer airport passengers.

Mr Rodger from Ayrshire added: “The idea came about because of the latest news that the latest study to take a tram to the airport was deemed to be uneconomic and possibly damaging to Ayrshire and parts south and west of the airport.

“My colleague and I were chatting away and when you think of it a train station and walkway would be considerably less expensive than a train or tram link.

“There would have to be a team of consultants to look into it.  This is just based on the Prestwick model and I think it is a very simple, economic idea.”

He points out that much of the land needed is already owned by the airport, Network Rail and Glasgow City Council.

Two years ago Boston's Logan International Airport was planning to build a pedestrian connection travelator that would measure more than half a mile — or upwards of 2,640 feet - which was expected to shatter the world record for the longest moving walkway in a city.