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Glasgow airport rail link cost could hit £200m

11.10.05

The cost of the rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre could rise by another £30m to nearly £200m, according to a leading member of Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority (SPT), which is overseeing the scheme. Inflation could take the total from the revised £160m estimate released earlier this month to more than £190m.

John Mason - a member of SPT and the SNP group leader on Glasgow City Council - said yesterday that current estimates were obscuring the true cost of the link from Glasgow Central to the airport. As we stated in the earlier story, Mr Mason notes that the £160m estimate was at 2004 prices.

'The link is expected to be built in 2007 so that means three years more inflation bringing the total to a likely £190m. We fully support this project but construction costs tend to run ahead of inflation so let's be open about it all. It would seem to me far more realistic to use the figure for the year when the work will actually take place,' he said.

SPT has submitted its final Private Bill on the project to the Scottish Parliament and it is hoped it will be debated at Holyrood in November. Alastair Watson, the SPT chairman, said that parliamentary process required an estimate based on current prices.

'While Mr Mason makes some relevant points it would be wrong to try to predict what the effects of inflation may be. We have used the most up-to-date costings available and remain confident that the rail link can be delivered within the £160m budget,' he said.

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