Ambitious rail project
Glasgow unveils £10 billion cross-city metro plan
A link from the airport to the city centre is proposed
A new Underground link between Glasgow Central and Queen Street stations is part of an ambitious £10 billion plan to transform public transport in the city unveiled today.
Central station would be extended across the Clyde to allow for HS2 trains to serve the city and London, while a new metro network would include a line between the city centre and Glasgow airport.
The proposals have emerged from the Glasgow Connectivity Commission which was launched by the city council to improve transport.
The Commission insists the proposals are in line with similar schemes in European cities and with current spending in Scotland on projects such as the Queensferry Crossing and duelling of the A9 and A96 roads. It argues its vision would help generate £4.6 billion a year for the economy and that funding should come equally from Barnett consequentials resulting from HS2, the Scottish government and development land ‘uplift’.
The commission, chaired by transport expert Professor David Begg, said the metro should serve areas of the city without railway connections and which had suffered economically.
It said the network should start by linking Glasgow airport with Paisley Gilmour Street station before continuing east to Glasgow city centre via Renfrew, Braehead and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The trains would carry more passengers than existing rail carriages and accelerate faster to provide a rapid transit service.
Other metro routes could use former rail lines, such as under the Botanic Gardens in the west end, and run on streets such as Edinburgh Road in the east end.
A cross-city tunnel would run from the Paisley line in Pollokshields on the south side to Cowlairs, beyond Queen Street, on the main line north.
Prof Begg said the report’s recommendations were “bold, ambitious and transformative, but we are also confident they are achievable and the right response to secure Glasgow’s long-term economic prosperity.”
City council leader Susan Aitken said: “These proposals are worthy of detailed consideration. This is the kind of thinking which Glasgow has needed.”
Transport secretary Michael Matheson said the plans would be considered as part of a Scotland-wide strategic transport projects review.
Glasgow Airport managing director Mark Johnston said: “It is widely accepted the airport needs to be connected to the rail network and the commission has reinforced this position.
This first phase of the plan could be completed by 2025.