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Group suggest new cheaper rail link route

11.06.10

Rail campaigners have presented MSPs with a revised and cheaper plan for the axed rail link between the city centre and Glasgow Airport, the Evening Times reports. The new route would avoid the fuel farm at the airport and involves a cheaper bridge over the M8 and Paisley’s St James’ playing fields.

The group met with transport spokesmen and MSPs from four political parties this week to outline the plan which they say would cost £120m. Their proposal, NEWgarl: A Strategy for the Completion of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, would involve a shorter route with a traditional bridge instead of the single-span arched bridge proposed in the original scheme. There would also be an embankment across playing fields instead of a viaduct.

The group says the reduction in construction costs would mean it could be completed one year sooner than the previous plan. However the main stumbling block would still be funding. The group expects it would be financed by borrowing from Network Rail’s Regulated Asset Base, but this was already ruled out by Finance Secretary John Swinney for the original link.

William Forbes, spokesman for NEWGarl, said: ‘We have support from BAA, who have agreed to look at it as part of their transport review, and have spoken to Glasgow and Renfrewshire councils. ScotRail and Transport Scotland have not yet agreed to a meeting.’

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