Glasgow airport tram-train link to boost local economy

Plans for a new tram-train link between Scotland’s Glasgow airport and the city centre were unveiled last week.

The £144m direct rail link – a flagship project for the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City deal – will strengthen the region’s link to the world, say council leaders.

Glasgow airport tram-train linkThe tram-train link is expected to boost annual passenger numbers at Glasgow airport from 9 to 13 million by 2030. Image: Glasgow City Council

Glasgow City Council say the project is essential to ensuring Glasgow airport remains competitive in the years ahead. The airport injects about £170m a year to the Glasgow city region’s economy.

Boost passenger numbers, cut traffic congestion

Glasgow airport supports over 7,300 jobs – the majority in Renfrewshire – and the tram-train link is expected to boost annual passenger numbers from the current 9 to 13 million by 2030.

The project has the backing of businesses in the region, a survey carried out earlier this year reveals.

Three-quarters of businesses contacted in the Glasgow city region said Glasgow airport is either “important” or “very important” to their operations.

The planners say the direct rail link will also significantly relieve road traffic congestion on the M8 route, currently used by 80 percent of passengers and staff to get to and from Glasgow airport.

They also say the travel time along the whole tram-train link between city centre and the airport will take 16.5 minutes.

If approved, should be running in 2025

Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, says the money to pay for the project “is already in the bank,” and notes:

“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.”

The plan is for four tram-trains per hour to run in each direction, taking passengers between Glasgow Central Station, an interchange point at Paisley Gilmour Street, and the airport.

Renfrewshire and Glasgow City councils will be reviewing the proposed system before it comes up for endorsement by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet in December.

If approved, the plan is for construction to start in 2022 and for the tram-train link to be running in 2025.

Video about Glasgow airport tram-train link

The following video from Glasgow City Council outlines the proposed scheme and its anticipated benefits.