Deputy News Editor
First minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed proposals to build a metro tram network in Glasgow as part of the Scottish Government Strategic Transport Projects Review, which conducts evaluations and makes the decisions on government-funded projects.
Plans for a metro line running from Glasgow Airport to Paisley Gilmour Street are already in the first phase following the approval from both Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire. This will be funded by Glasgow City Region City Deal, a £1bn investment which funds major infrastructure projects.
The new metro line will then be extended from the south of the River Clyde, to Braehead, to Renfrew town centre, to the Queen Elizabeth Hospitals, and finally, reach the city centre. There are also further plans to add more metro lines in the future to better connect the city.
Sturgeon said that recommendations and decisions will be made next year.
She said: “That review is the largest strategy in transport appraisal for a decade. Work on it is underway, and it will make recommendations in early 2021 on the transport interventions that are required to deliver the priorities and outcomes of the new national transport strategy.
“In addition to that, Transport Scotland officials have already committed to working with the relevant local authorities to inform the on-going appraisal of the metro proposal.”
Sturgeon believes that the new infrastructure will be beneficial for both Paisley and the south of Glasgow.
“I absolutely recognise the potential to enhance connectivity, including to the airport and Paisley, which is why the programme for government committed to appraising the scheme in the strategic transport projects review. That is the right way to proceed,” Sturgeon said.
Some MSPs have expressed their scepticism of the project. Neil Bibby, Labour MSP for the West of Scotland, said that he doubted the SNP’s commitment to this project.
Bibby said: “We have been here before. Promises have been made and people have been let down. In 2009, the Scottish National Party Government cancelled the Glasgow airport rail link.