As someone that often relies on the train to get to and from work, I have always been passionate about improvements that can be made to the rail network across the North-east.
So I was delighted at the news in August that the reopening of Newtonhill railway station is one step closer to becoming a reality for travellers.
A recent report to be scrutinised by the North East of Scotland Transport Partnership (NESTRANS) refers to the Scottish Government’s allocation of £30m over five years for new and improved stations.
It details preliminary work that will assess the potential for further stations including the “high level business case” for Newtonhill, progressing to the point where future bids could be made.
Although the timescale for when trains may stop in the village may be a long way off, the decisions that are made now could have a significant impact further down the line, if you’ll pardon the pun.
The demand for more stops is clear, and recent developments at Portlethen Station are an excellent example of what can be done with planning and determination. Plans are in place for a ticket vending machine at the station to make the stop more functional for commuters, and there is an ever increasing number of people using the station.
Additional services were gained for Portlethen back in 2012 when I campaigned for the station so that commuters could be served better, and car usage would be reduced. This recent report also mentions the future platform extension that will further benefit users.
As with Portlethen, there is an increasing demand for a functioning train service in Newtonhill, and with the forthcoming new town of Chapelton, this need is set become even greater.