The Scottish Government is to consider the plans for a city wide Glasgow Metro, the First Minister has said.

Nicola Sturgeon revealed the proposals for a Metro tram network across Glasgow will be included in the Strategic Transport Projects Review, which evaluates and decides on which projects, that require government funding and support, get taken forward.

Earlier this week the Glasgow Times revealed that leaders in Glasgow and Renfrewshire had agreed to the first phase from the Airport to Paisley Gilmour Street Station using cash from the city deal.

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The plan is to extend the line along the south of River Clyde to Braehead, Renfrew town centre and the Queen Elizabeth Hospitals then across the river into the city centre.

It would be the first line of many across Glasgow including lines from the east and north.

Ms Sturgeon said recommendations will be made next year on which projects should be developed.

She said: “That review is the largest strategy in transport appraisal for a decade. Work on it is under way, and it will make recommendations in early 2021 on the transport interventions that are required to deliver the priorities and outcomes of the new national transport strategy.

“In addition to that, Transport Scotland officials have already committed to working with the relevant local authorities to inform the on-going appraisal of the metro proposal.”

She was asked by George Adam, Paisley SNP MSP, about the plans for the airport to the Renfrewshire town.

He said: “Connectivity to Glasgow airport has been debated for many years. The current proposal is the most ambitious yet, and is the best option to provide opportunities for the airport and Paisley.”

He asked if Ms Sturgeon supported the Metro to benefit Renfrewshire and the south of Glasgow.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “Yes. I have enormous sympathy with the case that the councils are putting forward, as the MSP for Glasgow Southside. I absolutely recognise the potential to enhance connectivity, including to the airport and Paisley, which is why the programme for Government committed to appraising the scheme in the strategic transport projects review. That is the right way to proceed.”

Labour and Conservative MSPs were less enthusiastic about the commitments made and wanted assurances the link would connect to Glasgow.

Tory transport spokesman Jamie Greene asked: “Will the First Minister provide the simple reassurance that her Government is entirely committed to ensuring that, no matter what the end solution looks like, Glasgow airport will be connected to the city of Glasgow?”

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While Neil Bibby, Labour MSP for West of Scotland was more sceptical.

He said: “We have been here before. Promises have been made and people have been let down. In 2009, the Scottish National Party Government cancelled the Glasgow airport rail link.

“In 2019, the SNP cancelled another Glasgow airport rail link. It now appears to have cancelled the personal rapid transit system to Glasgow airport. When does the First Minister think she will cancel the latest project?”