Monday, 14 May 2007

Glasgow Airport Rail Link and the Racecourse Playing Fields

Renfrewshire Council have received a planning application for new football pitches in the Foxbar area, about 4 miles from the pitches they are meant to replace at the racecourse in Shortroods. The pitches at the racecourse are being ripped up to accommodate the Glasgow Airport Rail Link which will ensure that travellers from Glasgow can get a train to Glasgow Airport (which, for the uninitiated, is in Paisley). The total cost of the scheme is £140 million which will be paid by the taxpayer so that the airlines and BAA can make more money.

But it is the people of Paisley who will bear the social and environmental costs as well as a large part of the economic cost of this project and will be no better off for its completion. This link is meant to serve the people of Glasgow and no others and it is a disgrace that the logical and obvious scheme, to run the link from Glasgow Central through Braehead Centre and Renfrew to the Airport, has been ignored.

Renfrew is the largest town in Scotland without a railway station and the increase in footfall through Braehead shopping centre, if the people of Glasgow didn't have to negotiate the M8, would surely increase substantially.

It is an opportunity lost, and for what reason we can only speculate, but we must doubt the motives of the decision makers. The alternative route is so obviously better that the decision to go through Paisley is distinctly smelly.

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