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Local Councillors Call for Study into Rail Link Possibility

>> 25 January 2013

Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee today backed a proposal from Peterhead South & Cruden councilor Stephen Smith to push for progress into a feasibility study to settle the issue of whether a rail link can be restored to Buchan.

The Committee was considering a paper on the Strategic Transport Update for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City. Members of all parties on the Committee agreed 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 Councillor 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.”

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