An Aberdeen politician has described the “game-changing” impact a new railway station at Cove could have on city centre footfall.
Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn is among many people who have been campaigning for a new station along the line to the south of the city.
As well as having obvious benefits for people who live in the area, Mr Flynn reckons it would also offer a welcome boost to traders in Aberdeen at a time when they need it the most.
The SNP politician said: “These stops have the potential to be a real game-changer for communities in the south of the city but also for footfall in our city centre, so I hope it’s something everybody can get on board with.”
Shop vacancies have surged as the pandemic has led to fewer and fewer people visiting the city centre, and the local authority is concentrating on ways to lure more people into the heart of Aberdeen in the future.
In 2019, £80,000 in funds were freed up by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson for north-east transport body Nestrans to explore opening a series of new platforms which communities have been crying out for.
The group is looking into the possibility of creating new stops at Cove, Altens and Newtonhill.
It is thought that the introduction of additional rail services in the area will build on already established transport projects such as the AWPR – allowing for easier access to Aberdeen and, by extension, the north-east.
Mr Flynn has now written to Mr Matheson asking for clarity surrounding the project.
He said: “The Scottish Government delivered the AWPR in order to improve road connectivity in and around the city and building on that success by enhancing our rail options is vitally important.
“I’ve long been campaigning for a new rail stop in Cove or Altens, and I’m similarly supportive of plans for Newtonhill, so have asked the Transport Secretary for an update on work to date.
“I know my constituents would really value increased connectivity with the city centre and beyond, so I hope it’s something that we can steam ahead with as soon as possible.”
Since that initial injection of cash in 2019, a number of projects such as proposals for 167 affordable homes between the Coast Road in Cove and the Aberdeen to Stonehaven railway line, have been conditionally approved.