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Glasgow Airport rail link takes step forward

01.02.06

The planned rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre took a step closer to becoming a reality yesterday, when the legislation to set it up was introduced at the Scottish Parliament. Objectors now have 60 days to lodge their protests before it begins being scrutinised by Holyrood.

Councillor Alistair Watson, chairman of Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) and the West of Scotland Transport Partnership, said the £160m link would bring economic benefits to Scotland, enhance its transport infrastructure and raise Glasgow's profile as an international destination.

There have been major protests about the route of the link and Councillor Watson was anxious to offer reassurance to objectors. He said: 'We will continue to work closely with individuals and groups with an interest in this project, not only to address their issues, but also to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information as the Bill passes through Parliament.'

SPT has sent out 12,000 leaflets over the last 2 weeks to people living along the line of the proposed route. A spokesman said it would continue talking to businesses, local people and other affected groups.

The proposal is to upgrade 5.4 miles of existing track between Shields Junction and Paisley Gilmour Street station and to lay 1.2 miles of new track between Paisley St James station and Glasgow Airport. The new track will cross St James Park and the M8.

Copies of the Bill are available on the Parliament website - www.scottish.parliament.uk - and at five public libraries - Paisley Central, Renfrew, Cardonald, Ibrox and Hillhead. The cost of building the link is put at £160m, though that is at 2004 prices.

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