Newtonhill station discussion

Newtonhill-based councillor Ian Mollison has welcomed confirmation this week that re-opening the village’s railway station is still under discussion at the highest level.

He said: “As a substitute member of Nestrans - the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership - I was sent a copy of the papers for this week’s meeting.

“This included a report of a meeting arranged by Nestrans at the request of Transport Scotland about train services. It was attended by the two North East councils, MSPs, and the economic forum ACSEF.

“The report details how the discussions included Aberdeen-London rail services, the sleeper south from the city, and the need to recognise the Aberdeen commuter market.

“As well as mentioning the re-opening of Kintore station, the report also refers to the possibility of extending Inverness-Aberdeen trains through to Stonehaven, which would ‘open the possibility of examining a Newtonhill station’.

“I was very reassured by this, as it a real challenge in these gloomy economic times to keep campaigning for a Newtonhill station. I am confident that in the long-term we will succeed, and replicate the success of Laurencekirk.

“I hope that Nestrans will include these excellent proposals in their submission to the public consultation into the renewal of the Scottish rail franchise. This closes on February 20, and I would urge residents also to put forward their views. The Nestrans board will consider its response at its meeting on February 15.”

If Inverness services were to run Stonehaven, it also opens up the possibility of more trains calling at Portlethen. Local councillor Paul Melling commented: “This would be a real boon for the town. We have a great station, but far too few trains stop here. We need to keep up the pressure on the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland.”

There is more information on the consultation at www.transportscotland.gov.uk/rail2014