Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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18 December 2008

Construction Industry lines up for Glasgow Airport Rail Link

Delivery of the new rail link to Glasgow Airport has taken a major step closer with the news that seven of Europe’s biggest construction companies will bid to build a key element of the flagship transport project.

Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Transport, has today confirmed a shortlist of: BMV (Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est and Vinci joint venture), Carillion, Morrison Construction and Roadbridge/Sisk has been selected to bid for the construction of the "St James Spur" - the main branch line viaduct stretching across the M8 to the new airport station.

The contract – expected to be worth between £90m and £130m – represents the most significant single element in the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) project and is another boost for the construction industry as part of the Scottish Government’s current infrastructure investment programme.

Transport Scotland took the project over in the summer and following a review and pre-tender consultation with the construction industry, it has taken steps to protect the public purse by reducing the level of cost risk to the contract.

The tender competition will now begin in spring 2009, meaning GARL is now set to be operational in early 2013, well in advance of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Passengers will start to see early benefits however, with delivery partner Network Rail set to implement a number of improvements to the existing Paisley corridor from 2010, which will benefit passengers to Ayrshire and Inverclyde.

Mr Stevenson, Transport Minister, said:

"I am delighted by the great progress already being made on GARL, which will be delivered well in advance of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 to help Scotland capture the long term economic growth the Games will bring.

"Through Transport Scotland, our continuing investment in major transport infrastructure projects is currently supporting hundreds of jobs in the Scottish construction industry.

"I am particularly pleased that seven major construction companies, either individually or in a consortium, are lining up to bid for this flagship public transport project in the West of Scotland.

"We are committed to delivering the project as efficiently as possible and have listened to the construction industry in order to take the necessary steps to protect the public purse."

As announced in summer 2007, GARL has been combined with Network Rail’s Paisley Corridor Resignalling (PCR) work to avoid unnecessary disruption to the travelling public and avoid the extra cost of duplicated work to the taxpayer.

Following the Office of Rail Regulation’s recent Final Determination of Network Rail’s costs for the period 2009 - 2014, the current estimated outturn cost range for the combined GARL-PCR project is £365.5m to £395m excluding VAT. This figure cannot be compared to the original cost range for GARL as the project is now combined with a significant Network Rail signal renewal scheme (PCR) as outlined to Parliament by the Transport Minister on 27 June 2007.

Ron McAulay, Director Scotland Network Rail, said:

"Network Rail’s resignalling of the Paisley Corridor, on track for delivery in December 2011, is a key enabler of the GARL project and we look forward to playing our role in delivering this major investment in Scotland’s transport infrastructure."

For more information on the project see Glasgow Airport Rail Link

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