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Minister says rail link business case does not add up

16.03.10

Constructing a railway line to link up Glasgow Airport to the city centre would have provided minimal benefit to Scotland’s wealth and have almost no affect on reducing traffic or greenhouse gas emissions, Scotland’s Transport Minister told the Herald. In his sharpest criticism of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link since it was controversially cancelled, Stewart Stevenson told the newspaper that its business case no longer stacked up.

Mr Stevenson told the Herald that cancelling the airport rail link was necessary to help protect £2 billion of funding in rail projects that directly benefit Glasgow. He said: ‘If you look at the effect on traffic, it would see a reduction at junction 28 of the M8 of 21 vehicles in the peak hour by 2030. If that doesn’t tell you something about the nature of that scheme, I don’t know what does. Whereas with other [rail investment] projects it’s much clearer there’s a substantial economic benefit.'

‘Equally, one of the questions I’ve also been asked… is who would have contributed to the project. And the reply is no one would. The sole investment elsewhere was that Glasgow Airport would supply the pedestrian link from the station to the terminal. And that was it, because the airlines and even the Chambers of Commerce at the time didn’t feel the case was such that they would promote investment from anywhere.’

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