A new survey has launched today to find out what north-east citizens think about introducing a series of new train stations south of Aberdeen.
North-east regional transport body Nestrans is running the study and says it wants to identify exactly what would encourage people to travel in a “sustainable way” between the Granite City and Laurencekirk.
In particular, the group is looking into the possibility of creating new railway stops at Cove, Altens and Newtonhill.
How can I take part?
The online survey opened today and will be running for four weeks before it winds down on October 18, 2021.
The study is being funded by Transport Scotland’s Local Rail Development Fund. It will focus on investigating rail options but organisers are keen to hear views on a wide range of travel possibilities such as cycle paths and bus networks.
Chair of Nestrans, councillor Sandra Macdonald is encouraging anyone who lives or travels in the area to take part:
“This survey provides an excellent opportunity to share your views on the existing network,” she said.
“We also want to hear how you plan to travel along this corridor in the future, and what we can do to improve what is available for sustainable and active travel.”
A step forward in connecting the north-east
This survey is far from the first time we’ve heard about improving the rail offering south of Aberdeen.
In 2019, £80,000 in funds were freed up by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson for Nestrans to begin exploring opening a series of new platforms which communities say they have been crying out for.
In Newtonhill for example many residents have indicated a wish to reopen the former train station which was in operation for more than 100 years before it closed in 1956.
Meanwhile, it is thought that new stations at Cove and Altens will build on already established transport projects such as the AWPR – allowing for easier access to Aberdeen and, by extension, the north-east.
Stephen Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South, has welcomed news of the consultation:
“This is big step forward for those of us who want to see rail stops in the south of the city and it’s really important that people living in areas like Cove get involved and contribute to the consultation to make their voices heard.”
He acknowledges that while this survey is far from the end of the line, it is a step in the right direction.
“A rail stop in Cove could be just the ticket to not only boost connectivity and lessen traffic in the town, but it could also ramp up footfall in our city centre – let’s keep the plans on track by responding to the consultation and hopefully, not before long, we will be full steam ahead.”