Glasgow Crossrail

Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:17 pm on 9th March 2006.

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Photo of Bill Butler Bill Butler Labour 2:17 pm, 9th March 2006

To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in respect of the Glasgow crossrail project. (S2O-9212)

Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

Transport Scotland is considering the technical and operational feasibility study into Glasgow crossrail and hopes to respond to Strathclyde Passenger Transport with comments during spring. Projects of such magnitude require detailed examination before final decisions can be made.

Photo of Bill Butler Bill Butler Labour

I note the minister's response with interest. He will be aware that the detailed technical feasibility study by SPT showed that considerable strategic benefits from the crossrail scheme could be delivered to the whole of Scotland—not just Glasgow—for a relatively modest investment in railway infrastructure. Given that, does he agree that the Glasgow crossrail proposal would benefit Scotland's economy and provide further much-needed rail network integration? Will he accept an invitation from me, as convener of the cross-party group on Glasgow crossrail, to attend a cross-party group meeting to discuss in detail the benefits that would accrue from that sensible proposal?

Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

I am happy to take up Mr Butler's invitation to attend a cross-party group meeting and to hear the detail that I am sure he would impart. The advantage of the consultation on the national transport strategy, on which we are about to embark, and of the corridor-by-corridor assessment under the strategic projects review is that they will allow detailed consideration of the arguments that Mr Butler and others advance for crossrail. However, ultimately, funding for a project—no matter what its magnitude—is subject to the usual disciplines of government.