Glasgow Airport Monorail link could really take off

Glasgow Airport Monorail link could really take off :Channel Tunnel engineer Jim Beckett, 78, says his proposal to link the terminal to towns and tourist destinations in the west of Scotland is better than a mooted tram-train scheme.

A retired engineer has revealed an alternative vision for improved transport links to Glasgow Airport .

Jim Beckett, 78, says a monorail is the ideal solution for shuttling passengers to and from the terminal.

He slammed the idea of train-tram project, which was discussed this week at summit between the transport minister and council chiefs.

PAISLEY DAILY EXPRESS: Live news as it happens

Jim, who helped designed the Channel Tunnel, says his £300million seven-mile proposal is better value than the mooted solution, as it’s less than half the price.

He told the Paisley Daily Express: “The route chosen for the monorail includes major centres of population and retail and leisure venues on the west Clyde corridor and would be a powerful economic driver for this area.

“In its first two kilometres, after leaving Glasgow Airport, the route gives the passengers a taste of Scottish scenery, with views of the Old Kilpatrick hills, and, from Renfrew to Glasgow, gives views of a revitalised Clyde waterfront.

“The intent of the tram-train is to take passengers from the airport direct to Glasgow Central Station, with one stop at Paisley Gilmour Street.

“Those wishing to travel directly to the city can, at present, take an express bus.

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“This trip takes 15 minutes and is a perfectly acceptable mode of travel for arriving and departing passengers.

“However, during peak rush hours — barring an accident on the M8 — this journey can take up to 40 minutes.

“The tram-train is being proposed to solve a problem which only exists for a maximum of six hours per day.

“We are going to spend at least £144million of public money on a solution which adds nothing to the transport infrastructure of the west of Scotland.”

Jim’s electric monorail would also have stops in Renfrew and Braehead .

It would also call at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the Riverside Museum, SECC, Linthouse, Govan, Kelvinhaugh, Finnieston and Plantation.

He has calculated projected passenger numbers for his project, based on that route, in a comparison with the Edinburgh tram system.

Jim says it is “reasonable to assume passenger numbers would be similar” at around five million each year — an average of 67 per train each day.

He added: “The tram-train route would introduce investors, business people and tourists to Scotland through an area of post-industrial dereliction between Shields Road and Glasgow Central.

“This is not the image of Scotland we want to promote.”

Jim, of Brookfield, says his raised-platform monorail means the route could cross over busy roads and motorways.

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He has highlighted a stretch of the proposed tram-train line which would have to traverse the M8 and A726 before joining the network.

Jim continued: “The proposed line of the tram-track from the terminal to the Network Rail main line is just over one kilometre.

“With a projected cost of £144m in total, this would make this piece of track one of the most expensive constructed in the UK.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan met with transport minister Humza Yousaf to review the proposals.

He explained: “We have held talks to accelerate the project.”

The infrastructure project is the cornerstone of the Clyde Valley City Deal and was approved two years ago, with work due to start in 2020.

The partnership of eight councils and the Scottish and UK governments have pledged more than £1billion for capital schemes across the region.

It has earmarked £144m for the link, with a further £78m to connect Renfrew to Yoker by bridge.

glasgow-airport-monorail-link-really-take-off

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