BUSINESS leaders have warned the plan for a shuttle to Paisley to replace a direct Airport rail link will not be effective.

The Evening Times revealed the decision to ditch the plan for a direct tram/train link from Central Station to the Airport in favour of a Personal Rapid Transit system from the terminal to Paisley Gilmour Street.

The leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken said any link have to provide “value for money” and has stated on social media the evidence shows the previous plan is an “unworkable scheme” which “would have been a financial calamity”.

Both Glasgow and Renfrewshire Chambers of commerce however have said the downgraded plan, which has been branded a “toytown solution” is in danger of not attracting enough passengers to make a difference.

They are also frustrated at another delay to producing a solution to the problem of access to the airport and congestion on the M8.

Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “Asking passengers carrying luggage to take multiple modes of transport to reach Glasgow’s city centre makes us question the level of likely customer demand, which in turn means we have to question how much of an impact this would actually have on traffic volumes on the badly congested M8 to the Airport.”

He said the issues of impact on the current rail network should have been addressed before now and should not be a block on investment in growing the airport.

Mr Patrick added: “If capacity constraints in Central Station are genuinely an obstacle to the existing light rail plan - and we have seen conflicting expert opinion on that point - it suggests Transport Scotland has been rather neglecting the consequences for the station of economic and population growth in the West of Scotland. One must ask why there has been insufficient investment in Central Station to allow for growing passenger demand.”

His counterpart in Renfrewshire said the delay will add to problems for businesses in the region.

Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “Taking time to develop yet another business case on a previously discounted project will inevitably result in further delays which will also lead to even more traffic on the M8.

“The planned rail-link in its current form has been through extensive assessment including two STAG reports and 80 design iterations. The funding exists and the economic case is clear, strongly backed by the business community - yet worryingly other options are now being explored.”

Ms Aitken said: “I remain committed to a solution that delivers improved public transport connectivity to Glasgow Airport - but I am determined that it should also provide value for money for the city, and deliver the widest possible inclusive economic benefits.”