Transport chiefs urged to consider building a new train station in a growing north-east village

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Transport chiefs have been urged to consider building a new train station in a growing north-east village.

The former Newtonhill station shut in 1956 after 100 years of servicing the Aberdeen Railway between Portlethen and Muchalls, the latter of which is also closed.

But over the last several years, calls have increased for one to be re-instated due to the increase in the number of houses, both in the village and the new nearby settlements of Chapelton of Elsick and Muchalls.

North East MSP Liam Kerr has written to the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to press the case for a re-examination of Newtonhill.

He pointed to a Bank of Scotland study released earlier this month, which reported Newtonhill is the third most sought-after Scottish seaside community in which to live.

Mr Kerr said: “The village is growing naturally as it’s a great place to live.

“House-builders are also looking around this area because they know it enjoys good facilities as well as stunning views.

“But there has to be the right infrastructure to take that on.”

Mr Kerr’s letter to the minister states: “Given the rapid expansion of the local area, there may be merit, and increased train usage, were this station to reopen.

“I do appreciate that all that remains of the original station is the signal box and there would be logistical issues to consider such as parking, road access and track capacity but these are surmountable I would have thought.”

If Newtonhill was re-opened it would join Kintore Station, which is scheduled to be brought back into use next year after more than 50 years since it was closed.

A new station was also built at Laurencekirk in 2009.

Network Rail has previously said the old signal box may have to be removed for safety issues.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “Scottish inisters are committed to ensuring the railway meets future growth needs and are willing to consider proposals for new stations, or reopening existing ones, that arise from a positive transport appraisal which takes account of the impact on the wider rail network.

“Responsibility to demonstrate the need for station improvements lies with the relevant promoter, for example local authorities, regional transport partnerships or developers. In the first instance, promoters of new rail links should contact their relevant Regional Transport Partnership, in this case Nestrans, or the local authority to progress the proposal further.

“On a wider scale, work is underway to redevelop the National Transport Strategy (NTS2) which will feed into the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2) to identify the transport interventions required to provide Scotland with a transport network fit for the 21st century.”

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