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SNP rejected Network Rail offer on rail link

10.02.10

The Scottish Finance Secretary, John Swinney, rejected an offer from Network Rail to save the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (Garl) immediately after the project was scrapped last September, the Herald reports. Opposition politicians described the disclosure as ‘astonishing’.

The suggestion that the rail link could be saved is reported to have come from Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail, in a telephone conversation with Mr Swinney in the days after he cancelled the project, amid anger from businesses and Labour politicians in the west of Scotland.

A newspaper 'source close to ministers' confirmed an offer had been made. He said: ‘John Swinney was approached by Network Rail around the time that Garl was cancelled with an offer to use its own borrowing powers to fund it. It was rejected because it was felt this would jeopardise funding for other projects being paid for by Network Rail borrowing.’

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