Government approvals to create a proposed rail link to Glasgow Airport will take twice as long as it will take to build the actual line itself, an MSP has said.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, was told of concerns that government agencies were causing a “bottleneck” and she was asked if this could be speeded up.

Ms Aitken was appearing before the Scottish Parliament Local Government Committee and was quizzed by Kenny Gibson SNP MSP, on the “bizarre” length of time the project will take.

It is not due for completion until 2025 and the City Deal cabinet is awaiting a final business case to be presented.

Mr Gibson said the committee held a meeting in Paisley with Renfrewshire Council about the city deal projects and particularly the airport plan earlier this week.

He said he was not speaking for or against the rail link project being delivered.

He said he delivery of the Airport Access Project is in 2025, and that he asked those at the meeting why is it over eight years away.

Mr Gibson said he was told “It will take 18 months to build it but approvals are going to take four years. If these projects are going forward to try and deliver additional prosperity to Scotland surely there must be a way of these approvals being expedited in order that we get delivery on the ground much quicker.

He added the committee was told at the meeting the “bottlenecks” were Transport Scotland, Network Rail and Scottish ministers.

He said: “I find it bizarre that these approvals will take four years just to get these three groups effectively round the table along with the local authorities themselves.”

Susan Aitken said the City Deal structure allows national organisations and agencies to work together with councils and that may allow projects to be moved quicker.

She said it may allow the councils “shave time off” original timescales.

Kevin Rush, Glasgow City Region Deal director of economic growth, said: “In relation to the airport Access Project, for clarity I don’t think the suggestion was Scottish Ministers were the bottleneck.

“I think there was a suggestion from Renfrewshire as lead authority the Ministerial Working Group, chaired by the Transport Minister brings together the various partners, to try and work through these solutions.”

Ms Aitken said on the contrary ministers had been “facilitating partnership working” on the Airport project.

Mr Gibson however said that was not what he was told at the meeting.

The Airport Access Project is the flagship project of the £1.1bn Glasgow Region City Deal.

It is estimated to cost £144m and connect Glasgow Central Station with the airport via a new line for a light rail link built from Paisley Gilmour Street.

Once the business case is presented and if it is approved construction is expected to begin in 2022 and the line be in operation in 2025.

Ms Aitken also said of the overall City Deal projects that three years into the projects and less than two years away form the first gateway the cabinet would be assessing the projects against inclusive growth targets.

She said: “We are taking the opportunity, if inclusive growth hasn’t been thought about, we do now.