24 Jan 2019
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive Stuart Patrick has backed calls at Holyrood for a rail connection to Glasgow Airport to be progressed.
Stuart Patrick said the connection should be funded “via a national infrastructure investment requirement” and highlighted a report commissioned last year by Transport Scotland which revealed a rise of more than a fifth in traffic levels on a stretch of the M8 leading to the airport.
He said: “We very much welcome the cross-party call at the Scottish Parliament supporting investment in a rail connection to Glasgow Airport.
“Although there is a regular bus service from the city centre, it’s known that congestion issues regularly plague the M8 and cause delays.
“The Jacobs report for Transport Scotland revealed a 22% increase in traffic levels between 2008 and 2017 on the stretch of the road to the west of the city centre between J22 Kinning Park and J29 just after the airport, with average speeds between 4pm and 7pm gradually reducing since 2014.
“We have campaigned long and hard for many years on this issue and strongly believe that a rail connection to the West of Scotland’s most important transport hub should be supported via a national infrastructure investment requirement.”
He added: “It is now 27 years since a link to Glasgow Airport was first discussed. The initial business case was calculated on an assumption that Glasgow Airport would be operating with somewhere around 8.8 million passengers each year by 2020. The airport has already been operating at close to 10 million. And the strategy of the airport has been to target routes that have an increasing number of the inbound tourists that make it easier to persuade airlines to set up new direct routes.
“Airlines need persuaded of Glasgow’s ambition to grow. Glasgow’s economic strategy is aiming for one million new inbound tourists every year and is planning for a growing population, 100,000 new jobs and the same number of new houses around the region.
“We need a surface link to help our airport grow, we need that link to be an alternative to the road system and we need more creative and proactive thinking about transport for the West of Scotland.”