Councillors at the Formartine Area Committee have welcomed progress on the Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Ellon to Aberdeen strategic transport study.
The Nestrans study has focused on improving transport links along the north east corridor. Members of the public were invited along to drop-in sessions to have their say on what they would like to see happen in the area.
Seven broad options were identified from 130 suggestions identified and include phased dualling and junction improvements on the A90 Ellon to Peterhead and the A952/A90 to Fraserburgh, Bus Service improvements, and a phased reinstatement along the route of the Formartine and Buchan Way rail line. The study also took current journey times and future growth into account.
Ellon and District councillor and leader of the “Why Stop at Ellon?” campaign, Gillian Owen, said: “I welcome this report but I do hope that it will not be portrayed as a Road versus Rail project.
“My view is that road safety has to be a major part of the decision making, we must improve the junction at the Toll of Birness.
“It is archaic and unsafe and the rest of the A90 to Peterhead is dangerous as the many fatal accidents show. A dual carriageway would be a sensible measure to reduce accidents and help road safety.”
She added: “I can see that a mixture of the options within this report can only benefit the north east and I look forward to hearing the outcome of this significant piece of work.”
Committee chair and councillor, Rob Merson, said: “I have been pressing for the Buchan to Formartine line for some time and to reinstate it to Ellon would be the logical first step.”
Fellow councillor and Aberdeenshire Council co-leader, Richard Thomson, said that money could come from the City Region Deal.
He added: “I welcome the possibility of the rail link between Aberdeen and Ellon. The experience of the Borders Railway shows us that once you build to Ellon there will be a pressure to expand.
“I am very pleased that this study identifies a suite of measures and we can now build a case to move forward.”