EAST Garioch councillor Martin Ford has received a letter from Scottish transport minister Keith Brown MSP expressing a firm intention to build a new rail station at Kintore ‘before 2019’.
Councillor Ford has welcomed ‘the clear Scottish Government commitment’ to building a new station at Kintore. Mr Brown was replying to a letter from Cllr Ford sent on December 6, seeking clarification of the Scottish Government’s level of commitment to a station at Kintore. In June 2012, the Scottish Ministers’ rail High Level Output Specification for 2014-2019 was published. It identified a requirement to enable un-named ‘promoters’ to deliver two new stations on the Aberdeen to Inverness line, including one at Kintore.
However, Mr Brown appeared to give more definite Scottish Government backing to getting a station built at Kintore in a written parliamentary answer on December 4, last year.
Now, in his letter replying to Cllr Ford, Mr Brown says, ‘I recognise the economic benefits that a railway station at Kintore could bring to the local community. As such, we are working closely with Network Rail to deliver the station before 2019.’ Mr Brown goes on to say that ‘Network Rail will be working with promoters to ensure that the community’s needs are met and that third-party funding has been secured’.
Cllr Martin Ford said, “With the unambiguous statements of commitment in the transport minister’s letter, it is clearly now a matter of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’, a new Kintore station is built. That is a very welcome clarification of the Scottish Government’s position. Obviously, I would like to see the station in place as soon as possible. It should have been agreed to and built years ago.
“The important thing though, is that the Scottish Government is now saying it will get a station built.”