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Glasgow Airport rail link 'will boost economy'

24.05.06

The Scottish transport minister, Tavish Scott, said yesterday that cities across the world can show Glasgow the economic benefit of having a railway to its airport. But he added that the Executive's support for the planned Glasgow Airport Rail Link was not 'limitless'.

Mr Scott's comments were made to the parliamentary committee scrutinising a £170m plus scheme to upgrade 5 miles of track between Glasgow and Paisley, and build a spur from Paisley Gilmour Street to Glasgow Airport by 2010.

He said: 'All the evidence worldwide is that when you add a rail link to an airport it grows because of that.' He told yesterday's meeting in Paisley that rail connections to other UK airports were 'drivers of the economy'.

Mr Scott added that multi-national firms were not interested in setting up in cities where access to airports was difficult. He pointed to the success of Prestwick Airport, which he said was in part due to its rail connections.

When quizzed on costs, Mr Scott said the Executive was in talks with BAA about the airport's owner part-funding the scheme. He said: 'It is in BAA's interests to invest in this link and their investment is essential. Our investment is not outwith financial limit.'

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