Councillors cite report as railway campaign boost

Councillors Stephen Smith and Alan Gardiner
Councillors Stephen Smith and Alan Gardiner

A new survey carried out for Aberdeenshire Council has been welcomed by Peterhead councillors as further evidence of the case for a Buchan rail link.

The Business Land Research Survey carried out by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce Research Unit on behalf of the council sought to assess demand for expansion options and identify infrastructure-related issues which act as attractors or inhibitors to growth.

In a covering report, Aberdeenshire Council concludes that the impact of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route “won’t improve the attractiveness of Fraserburgh and Peterhead as business locations”.

The report goes on to state that, “a further risk is that the AWPR acts as a development ‘magnet’ to the detriment of locations beyond it”.

Peterhead councillors Stephen Smith and Alan Gardiner, who sit on Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, have said that the report adds considerable weight to the campaign to link Buchan to the rail network once again.

Cllr Smith said: “A rail link will be a vital component of how Peterhead develops in the next 20-30 years, it is important that this report is used as part of the feasibility study being carried out by NESTRANS into the Buchan rail link to help inform the outcome of that.”

Cllr Gardiner said: “The AWPR will be a tremendous boost for Peterhead, both in terms of the journeys people make and the transporting of goods, but the bypass in itself will not attract new business to the town and we therefore need to take every opportunity to make it more attractive and better-connected.”