Council leaders have formally backed the plans to secure the Glasgow City Region’s long term economic future by building a direct rail link between Glasgow Airport, Paisley and the city centre.
The £144m Glasgow Airport Access Project is the flagship project for the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal. It will strengthen the city region’s link to the world, positioning it as an attractive place to do business and helping to create jobs within the area.
Glasgow Airport injects around £170m to the Glasgow City Region economy every year and businesses have backed the project as essential to ensuring it remains competitive in the years ahead.
Plans unveiled last month showed journeys to and from the airport would be transformed as a state-of-the-art system carries passengers on specially designed tram-trains using both the existing railway network and a new light rail spur from Paisley to the airport.
Figures released by the Office of Rail and Road last week showed how important the railway connections are to passengers travelling in the area. They revealed Glasgow Central Station is the busiest in the UK outside of London, while Paisley Gilmour Street is the fourth busiest station in Scotland.
The Glasgow Airport Access Project was endorsed by the Cabinet after being approved by both Renfrewshire and Glasgow City councils in previous weeks. Construction of the direct rail link is due to begin in 2022 and the system will be operational three years later.
Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Region Cabinet Lead for Enterprise, said:
“With the approval of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet we have taken another step towards getting this crucial direct rail link in place.
This project is simply vital to securing the long-term success of the local and regional economies. Glasgow Airport supports more than 7,300 jobs – 4,300 of which are in Renfrewshire – and improved transport connections will open up the city region to tourism and businesses, generate inward investment and create jobs for local people.
The direct rail link will help increase annual passenger numbers from nine to 13 million by 2030. It will also enhance the benefits of our other City Deal projects, which are designed to unlock our economic potential, creating a world class business and commercial location with excellent links across the Clyde and into our town and city centres.”