WS in Glasgow Airport rail link bid

Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT), the integrated transport group whose members include a dozen local councils, has hired Weber Shandwick to advance the case for the proposed Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL).

The multi-million-pound rail link proposal will go to the Scottish Parliament next April in the form of a bill. If the bill is accepted, WS will be retained for a second phase to carry out a consultation process.

The agency landed the contract after a competitive tender won by engineering firm Faber Maunsell. WS helped draft the firm’s pitch document.

The account, worth over £200,000 to WS, involves communicating the rail link proposal to politicians, stakeholders, media and the public. If approved, the link will operate four trains an hour between the city and the airport.

WS associate director Charlie Mann said: ‘It revolves around the economic viability of the scheme in terms of adding tourism to the city and the improvements that the link will make to commuting times to the city and the greater Glasgow area.’

WS recently worked on transport consultation projects for the proposed introduction of trams and congestion charging in Edinburgh.

The introduction of the rail link to Glasgow Airport is SPT’s flagship project and involves business partners Network Rail and British Airports Authority.

The project involves expanding 9km of existing line from two tracks to up to four, and building 2km of double track.

SPT was awarded £3m from the Scottish Executive to develop the scheme’s proposal. If Royal Assent is granted by 2006, construction could begin later that year with the link operational by 2008.

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