Have your say on railway services

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have called on Kincardineshire residents to put their views to the Scottish Government on the future of railway services.

North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison said: “People have the opportunity to play their part in shaping Scotland’s rail services. In 2014, the contract for ScotRail passenger services and funding arrangements for Network Rail in Scotland come to an end. The consultation by Transport Scotland is a crucial part of the government’s considerations.

“I have already responded and made the case – again – for the re-opening of local stations such as Newtonhill. It is folly that the Aberdeen area does not have its own commuter services. This would take some of the pressure of our roads.”

Councillor Paul Melling said: “Although passenger numbers have been increasing at Portlethen, we need more trains to stop, and a strong marketing campaign so that people know what services are available.”

Stonehaven has seen more and more people use its station, but again not all trains stop there. Councillor Peter Bellarby commented: “The extra car parking has been a great success. We need to build on that and encourage people to travel by train rather than by car.”

Mearns councillor Provost Bill Howatson said: “I am heartened by the re-opening of Laurencekirk station, which has exceeded all expectations. The crucial decision to re-open the station was made by the then Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Nicol Stephen. We need more investment like that in our local rail services.”

The consultation ends on February 20. Details can be found at the website www.transportscotland.gov.uk