Mixed response for Ellon Rail Link

The reopening of the rail line to Ellon would ease road congestion.
The reopening of the rail line to Ellon would ease road congestion.

Plans to bring back the trains to Ellon have been given a mixed response by local politicians in the town.

The Scottish Association for Public Transport(SAPT) has this week recommended that Ellon, Fraserburgh and Peterhead be linked up by rail to Aberdeen and Dyce.

SAPT chairman Dr John McCormick said: “Train services to Fraserburgh and Peterhead were withdrawn in 1965 and these two towns are the furthest isolated towns from the Scottish rail network.’’

The SAPT report recommends reopening the 14 mile Dyce to Ellon line, winning the unreserved support of Ellon councillor Rob Merson who said: “Every station or line which has reopened has seen a far higher use than was estimated.

“With demand for rail travel predicted to soar, having direct connections to the national rail network is going to be increasingly important for business and leisure travellers alike.

“While the Aberdeen bypass will solve a lot of the problems in the medium term, I don’t see it as being a choice between better roads or improved rail links - the two go hand in hand.”’

The proposals to restore the Ellon link and beyond were rejected by town councillor Gillian Owen who is the driving force behind a campaign to dual the A90 Aberdeen - Fraserburgh between Ellon and Peterhead.

Mrs Owen said: ‘’The rail network is not going to help the harbours at either Peterhead of Fraserburgh, neither is it going to get heavy lorries off the road. To reconstruct the rail link, is in my opinion out of our league, and certainly does not solve the current problem.’’

It is estimated the cost of reintroducing the Dyce line with a station at Ellon would cost 100million.