>> 29 August 2015
New figures published which show that the number of passengers using Laurencekirk Railway Station are some 2½ times greater than the forecast have been hailed by North-east councillors as a boost to the campaign to bring rail to Buchan.
Travel statistics show that some 92,470 passengers used the new station at Laurencekirk in 2012/13. When building the business case for re-opening the station which was closed as part of the Beeching cuts, it was thought 36,000 passengers annually would be a realistic figure.
Now, councillors campaigning for a rail link to Buchan have said the Laurencekirk figures prove that there is a demand for rail links in the North-east and that if the service is provided, people will use it.
Peterhead South & Cruden SNP councillor Stephen Smith said:
“It is clear evidence that if the North-east public are given the opportunity to travel by rail to and from their own locality, they will seize that opportunity.
“It adds considerable weight to the campaign to re-establish a rail link to Buchan which would have the added benefits of speeding up people’s journey times to Aberdeen and also bypass the traffic bottlenecks at Bridge of Don and the parking problems of the city centre.”
Ellon & District SNP councillor Rob Merson added:
“I strongly believe there is a demand for a rail link to serve the Buchan area. Not only would this be transformational in terms of giving the area improved connections to the rest of the country – which is important if we are to attract people to fill job vacancies in this area such as teachers and GPs – but it would remove vehicles from our roads, be good for the environment, and enable swifter journey times to the city.”