New rail campaign launched to connect North East
The restoration of the Deeside Railway as far as Banchory, with an integrated bus link to Braemar, are part of a new campaign to reconnect the North east.
Campaign for North East Rail is behind the new push to see railways return to the North East.
The group is campaigning to secure a feasibility study into the rail proposal between Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Banchory.
This railway would be transformational for public transport in the region. This includes:
Reopening the Deeside line as far as Banchory.
Reopening the Formartine and Buchan Railway to Peterhead and Fraserburgh with significant realignment north of Ellon to improve journey times.
Integrating this new railway with current Scotrail services to the Central Belt and London bound services such as the LNER and Caledonian Sleeper services.
Introducing an integrated bus service that will meet every train, every time at Banchory, and run to Braemar following the A93, stopping at each town only once as if it were a train.
The Deeside proposals would provide competitive public transport for commuters into Aberdeen as far as Banchory, and will create a bus link farther into Deeside that will meet every train, every time.
Connecting isolated residents and supporting the region with the forthcoming surge in tourism it will see as Aberdeen begins to accept cruise ships.
The North east suffered severely as a result of the Beeching Cuts.
Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland, yet the only stations in the entire region are the settlements that happen to be on the two intercity lines.
The campaign group seeks to build an integrated rail network fit for the 21st century.
This will utilise existing dormant rail infrastructure and also build new infrastructure to enhance the speed and efficiently of services, fully integrated with the existing network.
Co-chair of the new campaign, Jordan Jack, said: "For too long Aberdeenshire has felt isolated and disconnected, the areas of Buchan, Garioch, Kincardineshire and Deeside all have their own identities, completely separate from one another.
"When constructed, our proposals will link up the entire region, and stitch the social fabric of Aberdeenshire together.
"This proposal will be transformative for the North East and will provide significant economic benefits to our communities, whilst opening up new opportunities across the whole North East for businesses and individuals alike. Only with a fully integrated network can we unlock those benefits in full.
"These proposals connect 10 of Aberdeenshire’s largest towns to fast, reliable public transport, providing an utterly transformative system that will result in massive modal shift for thousands of people in the region, and will set up opportunities for the necessary transformation of the North East economy.”
The Campaign for North East Rail is also calling on all North East election candidates to endorse the campaign, with SNP candidate Fergus Mutch already pledging his support.
He said: "The Campaign for North East Rail has my wholehearted support.
"It's exactly the sort of ambitious, yet achievable vision that our region needs if we're serious about green travel, connecting communities and investing for the future."
Visit the website www.campaignfornortheastrail.org to sign the petition and for further information on the campaign.
Campaign for North East Rail is also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CampaignforNorthEastRail and Twitter: @CNERail