THE rail link to Glasgow Airport is likely to be ditched in favour of a shuttle system to Paisley.

A Personal Rapid Transit shuttle pod between Glasgow Airport and Paisley Gilmour Street has emerged as the likely alternative to a full tram-train rail link.

Following a meeting between Glasgow and Renfrewshire council leaders, the Transport Secretary and Glasgow Airport yesterday, it has been agreed to work on a business case for the Personal Rapid Transit system.

It would see passengers board the pods like ones used at Heathrow Airport to take them to the station at Paisley where they would catch existing services to Glasgow and elsewhere.

The Gazette: Shuttle pods are already in use at London Heathrow Shuttle pods are already in use at London Heathrow

The final choice will be between the tram-train option and the Personal Rapid Transit pod.

It is, however, likely that the rapid transit option will be the preferred one and the option taken forward.

The tram-train link hit problems following a study that said it would impact negatively on other services in the West of Scotland and on Central Station which is at capacity.

The Gazette: Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson welcomed progress and said: “This is a really positive step forward and recognition that a transport link between Glasgow City Centre, Paisley and Glasgow Airport is critical to the success of the city region economy.

“It is important we get the right solution which takes in to account competing demands on the existing rail network and delivers for the whole of the City Region. In order to ensure we get the right solution, we now have a clear way forward and agreement to look at a business case for a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system, which can be delivered quickly and finally make the connection between the Airport and the city that business leaders and investors are crying out for.

“Renfrewshire Council is fully supportive of this approach and will be seeking Cabinet approval in the next few weeks to develop an outline business case to deliver a PRT for 2025.”

Mark Johnston, managing director at Glasgow Airport, said: “We were informed that, due to issues around rail capacity, the project partners are developing an alternative option.

“This will be evaluated and we will, of course, work with the partners to promote the delivery of an effective solution within the agreed timescale.”

It has been understood that transport officials were not keen on progressing the tram-train link from Glasgow Central to the airport.

The Gazette: Transport Secretary Michael Matheson Transport Secretary Michael Matheson

Michael Matheson, Transport Secretary, said: “It’s crucial that improving access to Glasgow Airport is balanced with the needs of the region’s existing transport network.

“The Personal Rapid Transit system option potentially meets this aim, and I look forward to seeing the revised business case once it’s completed.”