Democratic Independent and Green Aberdeenshire councillors are urging residents to respond to a North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans) consultation survey on transport options between Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen.
Councillors Paul Johnston and Martin Ford see the Nestrans survey as a potentially important source of information that could strengthen the case for re-opening the rail line from Dyce to Ellon or beyond.
The survey asks a range of questions on roads, bus services, cycling and walking, but also specifically on reinstating a rail service.
The Nestrans study follows backing from Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, including Green councillor Martin Ford, for an investigation into the feasibility of restoring a modern rail link to the ‘Buchan area’.
Cllr Martin Ford said:
“This Nestrans survey on transport between Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen is well timed, given the increasing support for including rail re-opening to Ellon in the proposed Aberdeen City Region Deal.
“There is no doubt we need better public transport to cut road congestion and the emissions that are causing climate change.
“Reinstating rail services on part of the Formartine & Buchan line does look a potentially achievable option that would undoubtedly bring considerable benefits.”
Democratic Independent councillor Paul Johnston said:
“I urge residents to take part in the Nestrans survey – and if they support re-opening the rail line to Ellon or beyond, to say so in their response.
“It’s also important to start thinking about what intermediate stations would be needed, for example Udny Station and Newmachar, to serve the population along the route.”
Another decision to be made about a possible re-opening is whether the line be reinstated past Ellon. Peterhead is the largest town beyond Ellon, but the direct route to Peterhead – the former Boddam branch – is blocked by development over the alignment. The route to Peterhead via Maud (currently part of the Formatine & Buchan Way) is probably too circuitous to compete with road transport.
“The 14 miles from Dyce to Ellon are, I believe, the most likely prospect for a rail re-opening scheme with a favourable cost:benefit ratio,” said Cllr Martin Ford.
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