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Scottish parliament approve Glasgow Airport rail link

22.06.06

Scottish parliament has voted in favour of the plan to build a rail link to Glasgow Airport. Scotland's MSPs backed the general principles of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link Bill yesterday by 110 votes to one, with no abstentions.

Transport Minister Tavish Scott said the link with central Glasgow would boost visitor numbers and the economy. The £210m project will involve the upgrading of track between Glasgow and Paisley as well as laying a mile of new track between Paisley and the airport.

The proposed link would provide four trains an hour, with an estimated journey time of 16 minutes. However, concerns have been raised that without a new cross-rail scheme linking Glasgow Central with Queen Street station, many people - including those travelling from areas such as Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee - would still be without a direct rail connection.

Under the plans, the Scottish Executive would be the main funder of the link, which would be completed by the end of 2010. However, Mr Scott warned: 'The release of funds is dependent on the continuing development of a robust business case.'

Alistair Watson, Chairman of SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport), which developed the scheme, said: 'A fast, efficient and reliable link from the airport to the city centre is essential for the west of Scotland and we welcome the decision to allow the bill to progress to the next stage.'

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