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Axing rail link cost 40m

08.06.10

The decision to scrap the Glasgow Airport Rail Link cost the taxpayer £40m, the Herald reports. Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson admitted that the bill for winding up the project jumped from a previous estimate of £25m. Most of the money has gone on terminating contracts and paying compensation for the cancellation of the £212m link.

The information was uncovered by Paisley North MSP Wendy Alexander, who asked Mr Stevenson for a breakdown of how much the cancellation had already cost the taxpayer and what was still due to be paid. She said it was an ‘absolutely disgraceful waste of public money’ and accused Finance Secretary John Swinney of incompetence.

The figures detailed in Mr Stevenson’s parliamentary answer show that the costs incurred relating to ‘the close out’ of the project were almost £19m on branch line works, £7.6m for combined work on the Glasgow to Paisley main line and branch line and around £6.75m paid for land, legal and consultancy bills. The figures do not include VAT, which would add another £5m, nor the £3m cost of the original Bill to allow work to go ahead.

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