Thursday, September 28, 2006


The Scotsman have published the first paragraph of a letter from me today on an ongoing discussion of the proposal to spend £600 million on a rail link to Turnhouse airport:

The SNP's objection does not appear to be to a rail link to Turnhouse airport in principle (letters 26th sept) but to the Executive's desire to spend £600 million on a tunnel under the runway when it would be perfectly possible to build a station on the main line to Glasgow (possibly the Aberdeen line as well) connected to the airport by a moving walkway for probably only a few hundred thousand pounds.
Unfortunately they decided not to publish the remaining parts or to name my new persona, which is a little surprising since they have regularly mentioned Ian Brodie's Scottish Enterprise Party which is not noticeably larger. My addition has been put on the comments section. A slightly different version of the full letter was yesterday sent out some other Scottish papers.

Recently the executive decided to spend £200+million on a rail link to Glasgow airport despite having a proposal to build a a monorail to Paisley Gilmour St for £20 million (there being trains from Paisley to Glasgow & indeed Prestwick every few minutes). I happen to know this because, as, at the time, a member of the Liberal Democrats I was invited to find some company interested in quoting for a monorail (or arguably brushed off with that suggestion) & when I did so was informed they didn't really mean it & such a proposal would have to come from the party leadership. Such a monorail would also have improved access between Glasgow & Prestwick airports allowing them to act somewhat as a hub.

Equally on several occasions your columns have featured proposals from Roy Pedersen & others to build a tunnel under the Forth at between a half & a quarter of the £1 billion expected for a bridge. This has also been rejected by the Executive for no clearly defined reason.

Like Adam Smith I am in favour of government being willing to invest in our infrastructure but it should be done on sensible terms not always going for the ridiculously expensive option.

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