STEPS towards a new railway station in Kintore received another boost following the Transport Minister’s positive response to a survey of residents that showed 97 per cent were in favour of the project.
North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes today received the response from Transport Minister Keith Brown to her survey of Kintore residents about the reopening of the community’s railway station.
The comprehensive survey carried out by Mrs McInnes surveyed the 3,747 registered electors in Kintore, with 46 per cent taking part in the 10 week consultation process. The results showed that a massive 97 per cent agreed that Kintore should have a new railway station.
Mrs McInnes gave the results to the transport minister and other stakeholders, and called for progress on reopening the station.
Transport Minister Keith Brown, in a letter to Mrs McInnes, said: “The survey results appear to be positive and to suggest additional justification for the government’s commitment to invest in rail improvements between Aberdeen and Inverness.”
The minister went on to confirm that the re-opening of Kintore Station will form part of Phase One of the Aberdeen to Inverness Rail Improvements Project. This seeks, he said, to provide greater access and connectivity to local communities together with improved journey times. Phase one will be delivered between 2014 and 2019.
Mrs McInnes commented: “The people of Kintore have delivered an unequivocal statement of support for the station. The Scottish Government and Transport Scotland now need to provide the leadership and drive that is required to deliver a station for Kintore. They need to demonstrate their commitment to the project through substantive action and the allocation of funding.
“I am pleased that this is moving forward, however the station should be opened as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile Aberdeenshire Council chief executive Colin Mackenzie has also welcomed the results from the survey.
He told Mrs McInnes that council officers have been very proactive in partnership with Nestrans in their efforts to make the case for the station.
He continued: “There are a number of issues to be discussed further with the Scottish Government before we can get to the point of delivering the project, but we have a proven track record in doing so.
“The information in the survey can only assist in that work.
“I will ensure that our partners are fully aware of our continued support for the project and that it should be delivered as soon as practicable.”
It is expected that the station will be funded from a number of sources: the Scottish Government through the Aberdeen to Inverness Railway Improvement Project and the New Stations Fund, Nestrans, the Strategic Transport Fund, and Aberdeenshire Council.
Further work and discussions need to take place to establish the estimated costs and the precise timing of the work.
Local Liberal Democrat councilor Nan Cullinane, livess in Kintore, welcomed the Transport Minister’s response on re-opening Kintore railway station.
She said: “However I’m disappointed by the minister’s extended time scale of 2014-2019. This means it could be as much as six years before we see trains stopping at Kintore.
“The campaign for the station has been long on going, and Alison McInnes survey of Kintore residents shows overwhelming support for the re-opening sooner rather than later.”