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Report says rail link will see Edinburgh surge ahead of Glasgow airport

19.11.06

Edinburgh is set to surge ahead of Glasgow airport as the Scotland's busiest hub as a result of its controversial new rail link, a secret report has concluded. According to the Scotsman newspaper, the report suggests that by 2030 as many as 23 million passengers could be either arriving or departing from Edinburgh. Glasgow, by contrast, will attract just 13 million passengers.

The private paper, commissioned by the Scottish Executive on the effects of the rail links proposed for each city's airport, suggests that the capital could gain up to an extra 6.5 million passengers over 20 years as a result of its £650m link. Despite plans for its own rail link, costing £160m, the report says that over the same period Glasgow will actually have 3 million fewer passengers than previous estimates, principally because travellers will flock east.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report was commissioned to study whether the construction of the Edinburgh link would adversely affect the business case for building the Glasgow Airport rail link. Plans for both lines are currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

Using predictions that Edinburgh will grow faster than Glasgow Aiprort because of expected increased demand in the Lothians area, the report concludes: 'At Glasgow the impact of the Edinburgh Airport rail link outweighs the benefits of introducing the Glasgow rail link during the first 13 years of operation.'

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