Credit: Becca Luke

Glasgow metro system to be priority in Covid-19 recovery

By Kim Mannion

This alternative should make the city more connected and accessible than ever before.

The development of a new city-wide Glasgow Metro is to be a priority to help with recovery from the economic impact of the coronavirus.

A meeting of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet held on Tuesday 11 August confirmed that investment in a metro would be prioritised to aid the economic recovery from Covid-19 by “accelerating and expanding infrastructure capital investment”.

Plans for the major new infrastructure project were first proposed by Glasgow City Council in May 2019 and the first leg should be completed by 2025, according to Professor David Begg, chairman of the Glasgow Connectivity Commission.

The first stage of building would connect Glasgow Airport and Paisley Gilmour Street on a route which would also connect Renfrew, Braehead, and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, to be known as the South Clyde Growth Corridor.

Further lines would then be developed to serve areas including Tollcross, Easterhouse, Summerston, Drumchapel, and Robroyston.

In a report by the commission which describes the proposals, Professor Begg stated that: “We do not underestimate the challenges required to implement this report’s ambitious proposals. But we also believe they are affordable, deliverable, and necessary if Scotland wants to achieve its goal of fostering sustainable and inclusive economic growth.”

The report expects that different routes will use different types of metro transport, depending on which is most appropriate to them. 

Along with wholly new sections of route, the system would be created from parts of existing heavy rail network, reopened sections of dormant infrastructure, and street running sections on wide, boulevard style roads such as Great Western Road.

Reducing travel inequalities is one of the primary aims of the report, to which the Metro is seen as a solution, as the rail network does not connect deprived areas of the city nearly as well as it does richer ones. The report labels this “crucial” for economic growth.

Plans are also put forward to connect Glasgow’s two rail terminals, Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Queen Street Station, as well as development to prepare Glasgow for HS2, the UK’s planned high speed rail network.


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