Parkhead and Ibrox ‘should get their own rail stations’

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NEW railway stations should be built near Rangers’ and Celtic’s stadiums, a new development blueprint by Glasgow City Council has proposed.

The stops at Ibrox and Parkhead would also cover large populations that lack a station.

And another new station should be built in the Robroyston/Millerston area in the northeast of the city, according to the City Plan 3 document.

The projects are part of a council strategy aimed at a “fundamental shift to public transport in the city”.

It stated: “A modern, high-quality public transport system is considered critical to the future longer-term regeneration of the city and to sustaining its role as Scotland’s main employment hub.”

The new stations would complement other transport improvements, such as the £300 million upgrade of the Glasgow Subway – the first for more than 30 years.

The document referred to “the potential for new rail stations to serve major catchments such as Parkhead Forge, Ibrox and Robroyston/Millerston”.

“The council has a long-term aspiration to develop a new station at Parkhead, which would also benefit from the improved connections.”

The Ibrox station, near Paisley Road West, would be on the main Glasgow-Paisley line, which is being upgraded to increase the number of trains it can handle. Currently, the first stop on the line from Glasgow Central is Cardonald, a mile to the west.

Ibrox has a station on the Glasgow Subway, which is much used by fans on match days.

A station at Parkhead would be north of the Forge shopping centre on the Glasgow-Edinburgh line via Airdrie and Bathgate, whose mid section between the towns reopened last year.

Celtic Park is to the south of the Forge, with fans using stations such as Bellgrove – a mile west on the same line – and Bridgeton, nearly a mile to the southwest on the Glasgow-Motherwell route, or Dalmarnock. By contrast, the national stadium at Hampden is served by far closer stations at Mount Florida and King’s Park.

Ken Sutherland, of campaigners Railfuture Scotland, said new stations in the right locations would boost public usage. He said: “There is an appetite for more new stations among the public, and when these open an increase in traffic can be seen.”

The blueprint envisages other stations at Jordanhill West, Blochairn, Germiston, Drumchapel West and on the proposed trans-Clyde Crossrail link.

Consultation into the plans continues until 12 December.

A city council spokesman said: “The next update of Glasgow’s local development plan is likely to be completed in 2014 and is currently out for consultation.

“Like the current City Plan 2, it recognises that there is an aspiration to create new stations and transport links within the city – and that there is a need to ensure these and other transport proposals reflect and enhance other developments.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are always open to considering new proposals to expand the railway, if they meet an identified need and are supported by a viable business case and funding package.”

A Scottish Government Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Transport Scotland has been consulted on the plan and will respond in due course.”