A GBP144.3m (EUR171.8m) tram-train scheme is being put forward for a new connection between Glasgow city centre, Paisley and Glasgow Airport in the UK as the flagship project in the GBP1.13bn (EUR1.35bn) Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal.
Under the proposal, tram-train vehicles would operate on the heavy rail network between Glasgow Central Station and Paisley Gilmour Street before moving onto new tram tracks between Paisley and the airport terminal. City to airport journey times of 16.5 minutes have been suggested. If approved, construction could begin in 2021 and the scheme could be operational by 2025.
An alternative light rail solution would cost GBP102m (EUR121m), involving a combination of the existing heavy rail network and a new connection at Paisley, and using a personal rapid transit system similar to that at other airports.
Studies have shown that tram-train would offer the best value for money due to its greater attraction for users. Both proposals are outlined in a strategic business case developed jointly by Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council that will be reviewed by Renfrewshire Council, Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Cabinet in December.
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow and the Clyde Valley is the economic powerhouse of Scotland and Glasgow Airport plays a crucial role in the continued growth of the region.
“We’ve long argued that a new rail link between the airport and the city centre is essential for the thousands of tourists and business travellers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day.”
Glasgow Airport is Scotland’s largest charter hub and was one of Europe’s fastest-growing airports during the first six months of 2015, according to trade association ACI Europe.