Monday, 13 June 2016

Glasgow Monorail Proposals Dismissed

Council bosses bidding to create a rail link at Glasgow Airport have dismissed proposals by two retired engineers for a monorail.
A City Deal spokesman for Glasgow and Renfrewshire councils said the blueprint for a Clyde Monorail was "an interesting idea" but insisted it was "not viable".
Transport chiefs spearheading the so-called Airport Access Project favour either a tram-train or Personal Rapid Transit 'pods' which would run airport passengers to and from the airport terminal on a newly-constructed light rail line which would then join the existing heavy rail infrastructure in Paisley before continuing direct to Glasgow Central.

 John & Jim Beckett have drawn up plans for the monorail
They are seeking to fund the scheme with around £140m from the £1.13 billion Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal, earmarked by Westminster almost two years ago to bankroll major infrastructure improvements in the region.
A City Deal spokesman for the councils said the two shortlisted schemes were based on "extensive research" by independent consultants, Aecom.
He added: "The decision on which option to progress will be taken in December 2016.

   "Both options are designed to make sure the project achieves its primary goal - making it easier for passengers to get to and from the airport - with the funding available from the City Deal. The monorail design is an interesting idea for the wider transport infrastructure of the area, but it isn't viable for this particular project."
The spokesman could not say exactly why the project would not be viable, but stressed that Aecom had already made clear "the two options...considered the viable ones" in terms of addressing surface access to the airport. It can currently only be reached by road.

Brothers Jim and John Beckett have drawn up alternative proposals for a monorail which they estimate would cost £300m but provide a bigger boost to the region's infrastructure by incorporating intermediate stops at Renfrew - which does not have a railway station - as well as the Braehead shopping centre, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the Riverside transport museum and the SECC, en route to Glasgow Central.

Responding yesterday to the councils' comments, Jim Beckett, from Renfrewshire, said they were "blinkered". He added: "[The monorail] is a solution to a problem that satisfies both the airport and the wider region's infrastructure needs, but Renfrewshire council have become so fixated on running the airport link through Paisley that they now can't see past that."

Mr Beckett, 78, was one of the lead design engineers on the UK side of the Channel Tunnel. He said the monorail would generate "an awful lot more business" because it would not rely solely on passenger traffic generated by the airport.

From Herald Scotland