Further study work is getting underway to determine a preferred option for improving public transport access to Glasgow Airport.
The Glasgow City region city deal allocated £144.3m to the airport access project, which was originally envisaged as being a rail link from the existing Glasgow Central-Paisley line. A strategic business case was prepared in 2015 and an outline business case in 2016.
Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf ordered an audit of the project from consultant Jacobs, which was completed last November. It raised concerns about capacity for the new service on the rail corridor and at Glasgow Central. The Herald speculated that attention might switch to a light rail route from the city centre to the airport via the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (LTT 24 Nov 17).
Glasgow and Renfrewshire councils, Transport Scotland and Jacobs discussed the report’s findings this spring, and the project team have now developed a work plan to address the outstanding issues:
• passenger demands/mode shift projections
• a review of the strategic case including options available to meet the project objectives and budget
• economic benefits (including wider economic benefits)
• operational impacts and mitigations (capacity and performance)
The work is expected to take six months at a cost of up to £500,0000.
George Vincent, Glasgow’s senior project manager for the airport project, told councillors: “Capacity on the existing rail network for a rail-based solution (e.g. tram-train) for improving surface access to the airport has consistently been highlighted as a key risk to the project.”
He said Transport Scotland was commissioning consultants to “explore further some of the issues, and to undertake a package of work to examine possible future plans for Glasgow Central station and the West of Scotland rail network”.
“It will be important that close liaison is maintained with Transport Scotland and Network Rail as this work and their deliberations on future plans for the rail network develops.”
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