Gillian Martin yesterday called for the re-opening of the Formartine to Buchan railway line in the wake of SNP’s declaration of a climate emergency.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP made the call when she quizzed Transport Secretary Michael Matheson at Holyrood about increasing low carbon travel in the north-east.
The railway line, which linked Aberdeen with Fraserburgh and Peterhead, was a victim of the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
Mr Matheson said he was “keen” to help local communities expand the rail network when he responded to Ms Martin’s question.
Ms Martin made the suggestion after Nicola Sturgeon declared a climate emergency at the SNP conference, arguing that policies must be environmentally friendly.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP said re-opening the line would “tempt the people of Aberdeenshire East, Banff and Buchan out of the cars they currently rely on for their daily commute to Aberdeen City”.
She added: “In the light of the climate emergency would the Cabinet Secretary consider looking at improved rail infrastructure in those parts of the country who are currently ill-served by rail?”
Mr Matheson said £330 million was being invested in rail travel in the north-east.
“We are always keen to look at where there are opportunities to expand our rail network,” he said.
“To help support local communities we have the Local Rail Development Fund which allows local communities to start the process of looking at developing rail routes within their area.
“That may be one of the options available to the local community in this instance.”