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Transport minister defends Glasgow Airport rail link bill


Plans for a rail link between Glasgow airport and the city centre were defended by Scottish transport minister Tavish Scott yesterday. Mr Scott acknowledged the procedure for applying for new rail schemes was archaic, and said the Executive was planning legislation later this year for a more modern procedure.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) submitted a private Bill to the Scottish Parliament yesterday outlining the £160 million scheme. If the plan gets the go-ahead, Strathclyde transport chiefs believe the fast, direct rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre could be up and running by the end of 2009.

Under current rules, plans for new rail routes and some other development projects go through a special parliamentary procedure for 'private Bills'. This category of legislation is intended for situations where a company or other group is seeking powers or benefits that are additional to, or in conflict with, the general law.

After the introduction of the private Bill for the Glasgow airport rail link, objectors have 60 days to register their concerns. Then the proposals are studied by special committees of MSPs set up for that purpose who scrutinise the plans in depth and take evidence from promoters and objectors before deciding whether to give it the green light.

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