PLANS for a Clyde Metro system will be created this year, a minister has said. 

The proposed overhaul of transport in the Glasgow region would include a rail link between Glasgow Airport and Paisley.

A Clyde Metro system was recommended in the Scottish Government’s second strategic transport projects review (STPR2), which was published in December.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson told MSPs on Thursday that the Scottish Government hopes to introduce mass transit systems in the biggest cities over the next 20 years in order to provide alternatives to car travel.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Graham Simpson asked Matheson about STPR2, saying the plan was unclear on when improvements will be made to certain roads around Scotland.

He said: “The Cabinet Secretary mentioned the Glasgow Metro system – that may extend to where I live in East Kilbride.

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“I don’t think there’s a cat in hell’s chance of it ever happening, but if my natural cynicism is misplaced and I’m wrong, then what is the timescale?”

Matheson replied: “It will come as a matter of surprise to the member that actually the leadership team who have already been brought together to look at developing the plan for the Glasgow Metro are already taking that work forward.

“Further work will be set out over the course of creating the business case for the metro over the course of this year.”

The Transport Secretary also claimed “budgetary uncertainty” created by the UK Government has delayed the delivery plan for STPR2.

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Scottish Labour's transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: “This feels like history is repeating itself from a Government that has overpromised and underdelivered for the west of Scotland.

“Given the SNP have scrapped three proposals to link Glasgow Airport with the city centre via Paisley over the last 16 years and seem incapable of delivering such a link, why should anyone believe this Government is serious about a Clyde Metro project?”

Matheson said the Clyde Metro programme is “hugely ambitious” and will involve billions of pounds in investment.