THERE is now a real opportunity to accelerate investment in Glasgow’s regional public transport network with both national and local government endorsing the need for a metro system.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, speaking on the Go Radio Business Show With Hunter & Haughey yesterday, said: “For the first time in 14 years, we have both agreeing that the business case and delivery plan for the metro should go ahead.”
The Glasgow metro proposal forms a key component of Scotland’s 20-year blueprint for future transport investment unveiled last month. The Scottish Government’s second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) includes 45 recommendations designed to make the country’s transport more sustainable.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, noted Mr Patrick, had long supported a rail connection between Glasgow Airport and the city centre. STPR2 concluded that a rail link between Paisley Gilmour Street Station and the airport would be the first leg of a south side corridor connecting to the city centre.
Last week, business leaders Lord Willie Haughey and Sir Tom Hunter called for bolder and more ambitious transport solutions and on yesterday’s show reiterated those view. Lord Haughey expressed disappointment that a direct link between Glasgow Airport and city centre was not on the cards at this stage.
Accepting that he could “understand a degree of scepticism” around the plans given the length of time it has taken to get to this point, Mr Patrick said if the Scottish Government was to achieve its goal to cut car use by 20 per cent by 2030, “there have to be alternatives to make that happen”.
However, Sir Tom added: “A great Scot invented the steam engine and we still seem to be in the steam age of transport in Scotland.”