A radical new report has called for £10bn to be spent over the next 20 years on a range of measures to transform Glasgow’s transport capacity.
The detailed 48-page report, Connecting Glasgow, by the Glasgow Connectivity Commission said the first new link should be to Glasgow Airport via Renfrew, Braehead and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and that other tram or light rail lines should then be spread out across the city.
The commission, which was set up by Glasgow City Council 18 months ago, wants the metro network to revive abandoned rail routes, convert heavy rail to light rail and develop on-street trams.
The commission has proposed:
- Developing a Glasgow Metro to connect areas of the city poorly served by rail
- Connecting Glasgow Central and Queen Street stations by a tunnel to increase capacity
- Extending Glasgow Central station to the south of the Clyde to prepare for HS2 services
- Developing plans for bus priority on Glasgow's motorway network
- Preparing for the shift to electric vehicles by considering new methods of road charging
The commission called for Glasgow Airport to be linked to the rail network by 2025, and said that over the next two decades the metro routes should be increased.
The report also said that "too many Glaswegians, particularly in the north and east of the city and the postwar housing estates, do not have the kind of reliable, quick, turn-up-and-go service that rapid transit offers."
Transport expert Prof David Begg, who chaired the commission, said the report's recommendations were "ambitious and achievable" and that its proposals had previously been studied at length and found to have positive business cases.
He said it would take about £500m a year for the next 20 years to deliver the schemes, and argued that the funding should be split equally between the UK government, the Scottish government and a private gain fund.
Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: "These proposals are worthy of detailed consideration. This is the kind of thinking which Glasgow has needed and it's clear that the Connectivity Commission has benefited from a very high calibre of evidence and expertise."