With thanks to Martin Ford.
A new option is to be included in on-going studies looking at the possibility of re-opening the former Buchan rail line from Dyce to at least Ellon.
The suggestion of re-opening the Buchan line as far as a park-and-ride station just north of Ellon was put forward by East Garioch councillor Martin Ford at the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (Nestrans) meeting on 30 September.
The Dyce to Ellon section of the long-closed Buchan rail route has been regarded as the most likely to meet value-for-money criteria for possible re-opening.
In making the proposal for a short additional length of line at the Nestrans board meeting, Cllr Ford cited the passenger numbers on the re-opened Borders line. While overall levels of use of the new Borders Railway during its first year have been well above predictions, passenger numbers have been highest and most above forecast at Tweedbank, the park-and-ride station at the end of the line.
“The unforeseen popularity of long-distance park-and-ride on the re-opened Borders Railway is noteworthy,” said Cllr Ford.
“The success of Tweedbank as a park-and-ride station has contributed disproportionately to the overall success of the Borders Railway.
“The Borders line experience suggests it is well worth looking at the possibility of replicating the model of re-opening to a terminus that provides a convenient park-and-ride facility for the area beyond.
“For the Buchan line, that could mean continuing the railway to a station just beyond Ellon which is easily accessed from the north by bus and car.”
The A948 north of Ellon passes close to the alignments of both the former Boddam branch and the Formartine and Buchan line to Fraserburgh and Peterhead.
Cllr Martin Ford said:
“I believe there is a good case for re-opening at least the southern part of the Buchan railway, but it’s crucial to identify the option with the best benefit:cost ratio to maximise the chances of getting the go-ahead.
“The continuation of the Borders Railway two miles beyond Galashiels to provide a popular park-and-ride facility at Tweedbank has made a major contribution to the success of that rail re-opening. We need to investigate whether doing something similar at Ellon could boost the case for re-opening the railway from Dyce.”
The Nestrans board at its meeting on Friday agreed to continue feasibility studies into future transport options for the Aberdeen/Ellon/Peterhead/Fraserburgh corridor, and to include re-opening the Buchan rail line from Dyce to a park-and-ride station just north of Ellon as one possible option for consideration.
Mid-Formartine councillor Paul Johnston welcomed the Nestrans decision.
“Park-and-rail evidently has potential not just for north of Ellon but also for the B999 corridor at Udny and the A947 corridor at Newmachar. So it’s important to look at all the options,” he said.
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It was a crime to close the line in the first place!!
unfortunately so much has been spent on the oversized bypass all the finance for transport will be used up for some years to come,it is going to be 200m over budget at least.
Why would I pay for an overpriced ticket so I can stand in 4 degrees with diagonal rain and wait for a train/bus that may or may not show up when it’s supposed to, sit on a germ-covered seat in a train full of god-knows-who making all sorts of racket, to get somewhere within several miles of where I want to end up, to have to get to where I actually want to go by some other means, when I can just get into my car which I already own (which has heated leather seats and only my own germs) that’s sitting on my driveway, and end up exactly where I want to go?
This would be a novelty for most until they realised the above. Most people that live out of Aberdeen haven’t been confined to their homes up until this point just waiting for a railway to be built. We manage just fine without this. That’s why they are spending hundreds of millions on a ROAD BASED SOLUTION. That is where the money should, and has gone…because we ALREADY have cars, buses, and HGVs.
I find it scandalous that in this day and age of environmental consciousness they are actually proposing to replace a “linear nature reserve” and a popular cycling route with particulate-belching diesel trains!
Just say no people.
You only need to look at the “dire performance figures” (According to last month’s The Guardian article about its frequent breakdowns and delays) of the Borders Railway to see that this would be a brief novelty that would be quickly passed up for the road-based solution, on which hundreds of millions has already been spent, on which we can drive our cars, which we already own and pay for, to exactly where we are going, once we realise that spending 20 minutes in the cold. late for work, waiting for a train that probably broke down (Borders Railway, The Guardian, September 2016), is a much worse idea.