Aberdeen politicians have expressed delight at the announcement of Scottish Government funding for a study into the creation of new train stations in the south of the city.
Transport secretary Michael Matheson said £80,000 would be given to north-east transport body Nestrans who will use it to explore the opening of new platforms at Cove, Altens and Newtonhill.
The funding has been hailed by local councillors and MSPs who believe the additions to the local rail network would hugely benefit the communities.
Kincorth, Nigg and Cove councillor Stephen Flynn had previously joined his voice with that of ward colleague Alex Nicoll to call for the study.
He said: “Both Councillor Nicoll and I are absolutely delighted at this latest development.
“We called for the Scottish Government to provide funds for these feasibility studies and they have delivered.
“This is hopefully a huge step forward in delivering a rail stop in the south of the city, something that all of our constituents in Cove and beyond would definitely welcome.”
Maureen Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, said: “There is no doubt that new stations would be of great benefit to people in south Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, particularly for commuter towns like Newtonhill.
“Re-opening Newtonhill station has been a matter I have long supported.”
Nestrans vice-chairwoman Dr Margaret Bochel said the grant would give Nestrans and its partners the opportunity to consider whether further rail stations would enhance the local rail service.
“Our work at Kintore has proved a successful model of regional partnership, working with Transport Scotland, Network Rail, and ScotRail, and we hope that we’ll be able to continue this positive relationship with this next piece of work,” she said.
Mr Matheson visited Kintore Station this week to see first hand the progress being made there and the latest phase of the double tracking that he said is “fundamental to the overall Aberdeen – Inverness Improvement programme”.