Support grows for rail link re-instatement

East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford has welcomed support for including the reopening of the rail line to Ellon in the proposed Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Wednesday, 15th April 2015, 3:13 pm
The reopening of the rail line to Ellon would ease road congestion.

Newmachar Community Council has written to Aberdeenshire Council backing the idea of a rail link re-instatement.

The suggestion of including re-opening the line to Ellon in any Aberdeen City Region Deal was made by Green Councillor Martin Ford and Democratic Independent Councillor Paul Johnston.

The two councillors unveiled their idea when Aberdeenshire Council considered the City Region Deal at its meeting last month.

Councillor Ford said: “We believe the City Region Deal offers the best prospect for taking rail re-opening to Ellon onwards from being an aspiration to making it a reality.”

Following the March 12 full council meeting, Councillors Ford and Johnston wrote to the leaders of Aberdeenshire’s coalition administration and SNP councillors seeking cross-party backing for their rail re-opening proposal.

Councillor Ford added: “It is clear there is cross-party support for taking the reopening plan forward and getting appropriate assessments made to establish and quantify expected benefits and costs.

“I’m very pleased Newmachar Community Council is giving its support to the rail re-opening proposal,

“I believe this is an idea whose time has come.”

The former railway line from Dyce to Ellon is about 14 miles in length and, apart from one small section, the whole of the track bed is owned by Aberdeen City Council or Aberdeenshire Council.

Councillor Ford has said that if the railway was to reopen, the current Formartine and Buchan walk/cycle way would have to be relocated to an adjacent position.

Under the vision for the restored rail link, a station at Ellon would not just serve the town, but act as a park and ride station for Fraserburgh, Peterhead and central Buchan.

The rail project is regarded as a “good fit” with the economic aims of the Energetica development corridor.

A number of former railway lines in different parts of Scotland have been been rebuilt and reopened in recent years.

The longest new route of nearly thirty miles of rebuilt railway is from Edinburgh to Tweedbank in the Borders.

This is due to open on September 6.