WHILE it would be easy to criticise the proposed monorail serving Glasgow Airport (“Clyde monorail could put city on a different track”, The Herald, May 30), the efforts of the Beckett brothers deserve much more than that. What the proposal does tell us is that, as many know, the current toy-town plan of a yet to be proven “tram-train” is so full of holes that there is bound to be an ongoing questioning of what really does provide the optimum transport solution not just for the airport but for the south-west conurbation.

A detailed analysis of the “tram-train” shows that basic elements (such as a depot) have not even been allowed for. Add that to the design where the tram emerges from a tunnel under the A726 to take on an immediate 90-degree turn before tackling an incline of at least 1 in 8 where it then has to enter a power neutral zone, will make for a spectacular rollercoaster ride but perhaps not a 21st century mass transit system. Still, that doesn’t stop masses of public money being spent on studies, consultations and of course the all-important field trips.

The sorry truth is that while the need for significant transport improvements to and through Glasgow (including Crossrail) is widely recognised, petty politics have engulfed the entire process. The matter of an airport connection has now been kicked into the long grass. The earliest improvement of any form is now 10 years away and meanwhile the bosses at Glasgow Airport continue to collect their car park revenues while denying any responsibility for congestion in and around its environs.

William Forbes,

23 Greenlees Park,


CONGRATULATIONS to Jim and John Beckett for their attractive and highly innovative proposal for a monorail link to Glasgow Airport. Following their thoughts and the other wider uses and many and varied customers who would be attracted to use such a link this idea is truly inspired and worthy of Glasgow’s history of engineering progress.

The monorail would certainly also be an attraction for tourists; it would be fast, unlikely to face delays and would provide many side benefits. The other proposals on the table are banal, confused and will add to congestion. They simply do not stand comparison.

However, you reveal that our enlightened council has declared the proposal to be “not viable”, probably before any real attempt to assess the benefits especially in comparison to the alternatives (“Engineers told city airport link monorail proposal ‘not viable’”, The Herald, May 31). The spokesman for the council is quoted as saying that he “could not say exactly why the project would not be viable” but he stressed that Aecom had already made clear “the two options considered the viable ones”. Before Aecom had properly considered the monorail in detail? This council is a true successor of its predecessor, which, many years ago decided to scrap Glasgow’s internationally admired and highly efficient 160-mile tramway system while every other city in the world was improving and adding to its system.

Nigel Dewar Gibb,

15 Kirklee Road, Glasgow.

THE Glasgow Monorail proposal is only the latest instalment in a seemingly unending flow of transport "solutions" for the Glasgow area proposed over decades. By chance I came upon an article on Glasgow suburban services published in a railway journal for May, 1951, that finishes with reference to the City of Glasgow 50-year reconstruction plan of 1945 that proposed two new (or reconstructed) stations at Queen Street and Central (obviously hinting at closure of the then St Enoch and Buchanan Street stations), for an electrified and linked-up low level system, incorporating the Corporation subway and other BR suburban lines. In areas not served by the above a "rapid transit" system should be constructed with the central sections tunnelled underground and could, outwith this, have the lines run along the centre of arterial roads. It refers to all this as an intriguing prospect.

There is no reference to an airport (of anything like that now extant) which would only be but a twinkle in someone's eye and, granted, along with recommendations of the Inglis Commission of that year (1951) on electrifying suburban lines, a sizeable element of that proposed has come to pass.

The letter from Bill Brown (Letters, 31 May) is worthy of note and, indeed, as regards the condition, or otherwise, of the Clyde tunnels and bridges pronounced on, a task infrastructure-wise that will have to be tackled ere long.

John Macnab,

175 Grahamsdyke Street, Laurieston, Falkirk.