Today, Stuart McMillan MSP has hit out at opposition parties for putting pressure on the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Region Deal Partners to pursue a business case that would damage Inverclyde’s economy.
Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire Council are leading the Glasgow Airport Access Project (AAP), the £1.13bn City Deal’s flagship project, for which an outline business case was agreed on in 2016.
However, as a result of concerns raised by both Network Rail and Transport Scotland, an independent audit of the business case was commissioned by the Scottish Government.
One of the key concerns was that the AAP would result in Inverclyde, Ayrshire, East Kilbride and Shotts having a reduced service to accommodate the new project. This proposed project has now been shelved to examine other options.
Commenting about this decision, local MSP, Stuart McMillan MSP said:
“First of all, I appreciate the importance of having a rail link to Glasgow Airport and look forward to one being introduced. However, I could not support the proposed business case option, as it would have adversely affected Inverclyde.
“Cutting train services from Inverclyde to Glasgow, including vital peak-time commuter services would have been disastrous for our economy. Many of my constituents work elsewhere and will use a variety of travel methods to get to work including by car, by bus, by cycling and by train. Cutting our services is not a price worth paying to satisfy the demands of others.
“I have been shocked by the language of both Labour and Conservative parties who seem absolutely supportive of Inverclyde commuters and our economy being damaged to progress this flawed plan.
“Colin Smyth MSP, Labour’s Transport spokesperson, claimed today that the Scottish Government lacked “ambition” and that scrapping of the project would cause “economic damage”. The Conservative’s Adam Tompkins MSP claimed it was a “betrayal of Glasgow”.
Mr. McMillan added:
“Forcing this project ahead would have caused untold economic damage to Inverclyde and certainly would have been a betrayal of Inverclyde. Once again, both Labour and Tory politicians highlight their disregard for Inverclyde and consider our area expendable.
“Thankfully, the SNP Scottish Government is on Inverclyde’s side.
“I call upon all Labour and Tory politicians to scrap their flawed campaign which will hit Inverclyde’s economy and to get behind a project that helps Inverclyde not hinder it.”