Could be getting back on track?

ScotRail have launched a new campaign to ensure passenger safety in stations such as Inverurie.
ScotRail have launched a new campaign to ensure passenger safety in stations such as Inverurie.

CALLS have been made for a feasibility study into whether a rail link can be restored to Peterhead and Buchan.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee last week backed a proposal from Peterhead South & Cruden councillor Stephen Smith to push for progress into a study.

The committee had been considering a paper on the Strategic Transport Update for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.

Discussions prompted cross-party agreement that the council should write to NESTRANS (North-east Scotland Transport Partnership) and make its view known that such a study should be brought forward.

Commenting, Cllr Stephen Smith said: “These are difficult financial times and a major infrastructure project such as restoring the rail link to Ellon and Peterhead would cost many millions of pounds.

“The fact of the matter is that the railway should never have been closed in the first place and there have been calls for many years to restore it.

“The cost is never going to get any cheaper as time goes on so there is no better time than now to commit to doing a study to tell us one way or the other if this can be done, whether it would have public and business support and how much it would cost.”

Ellon & District councilor Rob Merson added: “The prospect of re-opening the Buchan line is one that I have raised at every suitable opportunity since becoming a councillor.

“A rail link from Ellon direct to the city centre would make a huge contribution toward alleviating the traffic chaos at the Bridge of Don, and would be far better for the planet - but we need to gather in the information first to see if this will stack up.

“While the Aberdeen bypass will solve a lot of the area’s traffic problems in the medium term, we need to look further into the future and I don’t see it as being a choice between either better roads or improved rail links – the two go hand-in-hand.”

Peterhead councillor Alan Gardiner is also behind the idea, commenting: “As a member of the Infrastructure Committee, I was party to the discussions of bringing the rail link back through Ellon to Peterhead.

“I personally believe due to the exiting proposals and developments planned for Peterhead, there has never been a better time to push hard for this to become a reality.

“I believe if we took up a petition with the public and the business community we would get an overwhelming yes!

“I have already started discussions with councillor Stephen Smith with the intention of encouraging all the local councillors, regardless of their political persuasion, to get behind this and work together!

“My hope would be the area committee in Peterhead could send a strong message and back a campaign run by the Buchanie to make this a reality.”

The Buchanie would certainly back any campaign to bring the railway back to Peterhead - would you?

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