Glasgow Airport Strategic Transport Network Study

Glasgow Airport Strategic Transport Network Study


Glasgow Airport is a major centre of activity and requires high quality transport links to accommodate the demand it generates. In 2009, 7.2m passengers passed through it and 4,900 people were employed across the airport campus.

The airport is situated at a strategic point on the transport network where the A737 meets the M8, giving excellent accessibility by road. However, whilst fast, frequent bus services to and from Glasgow and Paisley were available, there was a high degree of dependence on private cars, rental cars and taxis. This raised concerns about the need to increase the use of sustainable transport modes.

There was also growing concern about the impact of congestion on the operation and attractiveness of the airport. The cancellation of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link project led to a need to examine surface access links. SYSTRA was tasked with reviewing the strategic transport network and identifying any problems that would hamper the airport’s effective and efficient operation.


Our work involved comprehensive review of all the surface access modes, quantifying the demand generated by passengers and staff and analysing how this impacted on the network. We then identified problems, constraints and opportunities and set objectives in line with the requirements of the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG). During the study we examined the origins and destinations of passengers’ trips, the mode of transport used and how long the trips took. We analysed staff travel patterns, drawing on the findings of a recent staff travel survey. The study also involved benchmarking the various modes of surface access against other UK airports. And we identified congestion hotspots and capacity pinch points on the strategic road network around the airport and appraised potential solutions.

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