Public urged to give their views on rail revival

Buchan folk are being urged to respond to a consultation making clear their wish to see a feasibility study into re-establishing a rail link to Buchan.

The move follows the successful re-opening of North-east stations closed by the Beeching cuts, such as Laurencekirk and Dyce, and the re-building of the Waverley Line in the Borders after a long campaign by residents there.

NESTRANS, the Regional Transport Partnership for the North-east, is consulting on their strategy document and now local councillors are urging the public to respond to the consultation by asking for a feasibility study into re-establishing a Buchan rail link be carried out as soon as possible.

Commenting on the matter, Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said: “When you ask the question, most people say they would like to have a rail link to Buchan but the cost is the major factor as to why there has been no progress on this.

“I think it’s therefore very important that we settle this issue by establishing exactly what the cost of such a project would likely be, but also look in-depth at what the benefits to the local economy and local people would be.

“This needs to take everything into account and this is why we need a professional feasibility study carried out so we can see whether this is feasible.

“At the moment, the debate is being carried on based only on supposition and speculation.

“It’s time to move forward on a professional basis and I hope that the public will take the opportunity to respond to the NESTRANS consultation asking for a study to be undertaken.”

Ellon & District councillor Rob Merson, who is a keen advocate for a return of the railway added: “All that is being sought at this stage is a feasibility study to see whether this is something which is deliverable, would benefit the North-east and much it would cost. We need to seize this opportunity to potentially move transport links in the North-east to the next level.

The closing date for responses to the consultation is May 31, and replies should be sent to NESTRANS, Archibald Simpson House, 27-29 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5AA.