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Business leaders to get say on flagship City Deal project

Businesses across the West of Scotland are being given the chance to have their say on the £144million Glasgow Airport Access Project (AAP), the centrepiece of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal.

The AAP is intended to provide a rail link between Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Airport via Paisley Gilmour Street station.

Renfrewshire and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce will distribute copies of the Business Survey to their members on behalf of Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. The survey is intended to seek the business community’s views on the economic benefits of the project to their businesses and views on the two options for the airport link.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “The business community is a crucial partner in our drive to create permanent jobs and revitalise the local economy. This survey offers entrepreneurs an important opportunity to have a direct input into the Airport Access Project, the cornerstone of the £1.13billion City Deal.

“Glasgow Airport is Renfrewshire’s economic engine and its continuing success is vital to us and the wider economy of the Glasgow City Region. The AAP will support this growth by providing a new, high quality public transport network.

“The Business Survey will help identify the actual benefits local companies expect to see from the AAP while also giving them the chance to express their views on the two options for the link.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “A new link between the airport and the city centre is essential for the thousands of business travellers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day.

“The Glasgow City Region City Deal will deliver that link, vastly improving the customer experience and generating even more jobs and inward investment.

“We’re at an important stage in the development of the link and I would urge as many businesses as possible to take part in this survey and tell us their views.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber said: “Renfrewshire Chamber encourages as many businesses as possible to complete the business survey for the Glasgow Airport Access Project. 

“The business community have a unique opportunity to inform the decision making process and identify the best solution for the key £144million investment.

“Express your views on how a new Glasgow Airport transport link will impact your future economic growth, the job opportunities you could create, the effect on your staff and customer base and how it can unlock future inward investment in the region.”

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “This is a perfect opportunity for our members to help shape a project that will provide direct economic benefit while also supporting our longer term vision for the rail network, and we would urge them to contribute.

“We have long campaigned for a rail link between Glasgow Airport, the city centre and onwards to the national network, and were very pleased to see it at the top of the City Deal project list. Now the focus turns to delivery.”

The first option for the project is a tram-train link which would provide passengers with a direct link between Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Airport. It would run on the existing heavy rail network before switching onto a new tram line from Paisley to the airport terminal building. The second option is a light-rail, Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system where passengers would travel by normal train to Paisley Gilmour Street. At Paisley Gilmour Street they would change onto a new light-rail system to complete their journey.

Results from the Business Survey will help inform the choice between the two options. The options are currently being evaluated in an appraisal process to identify the best solution. The results will be set out in an outline business case, which is expected to be considered by Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board and Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee, before being presented to the Glasgow City Region Cabinet in December 2016.

The survey, which will be open until 2 September, is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PBAeconomicimpact.

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