The chief executives of both Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce have expressed disappointment in a further delay to the implementation of a rail connection to the city’s airport.
Following the announcement that partners working to deliver a new transport link to Glasgow Airport are developing plans for a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) scheme as an alternative to a tram train, both Stuart Patrick and Bob Grant are unconvinced by the merits of exploring yet another proposal.
Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said:
“We question the decision once again to delay taking action to address the transport challenges facing the City Region and surface access to Glasgow Airport.
“The planned rail-link in its current form has been through extensive assessment including 2 STAG reports and 80 design iterations. The funding exists and the economic case is clear, strongly backed by the business community – yet worryingly other options are now being explored.
“Taking time to develop yet another business case on a previously discounted project will inevitably result in further delays which will also lead to even more traffic on the M8.
“Thousands of jobs are being created in the Glasgow City Region and Renfrewshire with the development of Innovation Hubs such as the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. Our concern, along with colleagues in Glasgow is there would appear to be no strategic plan on how to improve capacity across the transport infrastructure to facilitate this economic growth.”
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said:
“Whilst we welcome the recognition that the growth of Glasgow Airport needs support, it is extremely disappointing to hear a Personal Rapid Transit system could be viewed as the preferred option.
“This is now the fourth review of a project that has been in development for over 12 years and we don’t believe a PRT system sufficiently tackles the connectivity issues faced by Glasgow Airport.
“Asking passengers carrying luggage to take multiple modes of transport to reach Glasgow’s city centre makes us question the level of likely customer demand, which in turn means we have to question how much of an impact this would actually have on traffic volumes on the badly congested M8 to the Airport.
“If capacity constraints in Central Station are genuinely an obstacle to the existing light rail plan – and we have seen conflicting expert opinion on that point – it suggests Transport Scotland has been rather neglecting the consequences for the station of economic and population growth in the West of Scotland. One must ask why there has been insufficient investment in Central Station to allow for growing passenger demand.
“Given the economic importance of Glasgow Airport -confirmed only yesterday in a York aviation report – it is depressing how little urgency is being placed on supporting the Airport’s growth plans.”