SNP transport minister to visit north east to discuss rail links

The SNP’s transport minister Jenny Gilruth will visit the north east in June to discuss plans to bring back Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh rail links.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 10:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 10:23 am
Liam Kerr has secured a site visit from Jenny Gilruth to discuss proposals for bringing back rail links.
Liam Kerr has secured a site visit from Jenny Gilruth to discuss proposals for bringing back rail links.

Ms Gilruth will meet with Liam Kerr at Dyce Station on June 24 after the Scottish Government’s major transport review failed to include reinstating the Buchan and Formartine rail link within its recommendations.

This is despite a feasibility study being promised as part of the cooperation agreement between the SNP and Greens.

Mr Kerr will now use the site visit to ask Ms Gilruth when this promised feasibility study will be carried out and why the proposals were not taken forward in the 20-year masterplan.

He said: “The people of Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Dyce and Ellon deserve answers from the SNP and this is exactly what I hope to get from this site visit with Jenny Gilruth.

“Once again the north-east has been stopped in its tracks at a time when the Scottish Government only wants to concentrate on the Central Belt by upgrading the Levenmouth rail line in Fife.

“It’s scandalous that our region has been left in this position by a flippant decision that has been made behind the scenes in the hope no one would notice.

“I therefore hope Ms Gilruth’s site visit will make her realise that the benefits of relaying the lines from Peterhead and Fraserburgh to Aberdeen can’t be ignored.”

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: "An option for new rail line between Aberdeen, Ellon and onwards to Peterhead and Fraserburgh was assessed as part of the second Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR2).

"The outcome of this was that this option did not form part of the strategic transport investment recommendations within STPR2. Instead, recommendations focus on the decarbonisation of the remainder of the rail network; measures to increase the amount of freight travelling by rail and on improving connectivity between our seven cities.

"However, there remains a path for regional or local rail projects to come forward, and Transport Scotland will consider these subject to a strong business case being developed in accordance with Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) and suitable funding being available.