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12 December 2016, 19:04
Council leaders have taken another step forward in securing a direct rail link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre.
They have formally backed plans for the #144 million Glasgow Airport Access Project, a key scheme paid for by the £1.13 billion Glasgow city region city deal.
Council chiefs in Glasgow and Renfrewshire hope to strengthen the area's link to the world, positioning it as an attractive place to do business and helping to create jobs within the area.
The UK and Scottish governments will give Glasgow city region local authorities £500 million each in grant funding for the city deal and the local authorities will borrow a further £130 million to use for capital investment.
Plans unveiled last month showed journeys would carry passengers on specially-designed tram-trains using both the existing railway network and a new light rail spur from Paisley to the airport.
Glasgow City Council leader councillor Frank McAveety, who is also chairman of the Glasgow city region cabinet, said: "A direct rail link to Glasgow Airport has been an ambition for a long time but it's now going to be a reality.
"It's the single biggest project in our city deal and is of crucial importance to the economy of the whole Glasgow city region.
"It will help us deliver more jobs, bring in more inward investment and vastly improve the customer experience.''
Renfrewshire Council leader councillor Mark Macmillan said: "With the approval of the Glasgow city region cabinet, we have taken another step towards getting this crucial direct rail link in place.
"This project is simply vital to securing the long-term success of the local and regional economies.
"Glasgow Airport supports more than 7,300 jobs, 4,300 of which are in Renfrewshire, and improved transport connections will open up the city region to tourism and businesses, generate inward investment and create jobs for local people.''
The Glasgow Airport Access Project was endorsed after being approved by both Renfrewshire and Glasgow City councils.
Construction of the direct rail link is due to begin in 2022 and the system will be operational three years later.
A tram-train model has been chosen as the preferred transport option because it encouraged people to travel to and from the airport using public transport.
Ross Nimmo, head of planning and development at Glasgow Airport said: "This is great news for travellers and whether they choose the train, the bus or the car, Glasgow Airport will be easier to get to than ever before.''