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Transport Scotland take over rail link project


Transport Scotland is to take over management and delivery of the £210m Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) project. The national body will replace Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), which had previously been responsible for the link.

GARL involves upgrading 5½ miles of track and laying an additional 1 mile of track between Paisley St James Station and Glasgow Airport. A spur will be built from Paisley to a terminal at the airport and 4 trains will run on the line, with a single stop in Paisley enroute.

The project is expected to be opened in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which are to be held in Glasgow. Construction is due to get under way next year.

SPT initially lobbied for the rail link, designed the route and introduced the legislation in parliament that paved the way for the project being approved. However, Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said the link was a ‘nationally significant project’ and the switch was the ‘right way ahead’.

The Scotsman quotes 'senior industry sources' claiming flaws in the design for the railway were the reason for the decision. One 'insider' said: 'This is a reality check for SPT. The bottom line, they are not an infrastructure provider.' However, an SPT spokesman denied there had been problems with design work.

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