Public asked for feedback on travelling between Aberdeen and Laurencekirk

A new survey has been launched this week to study transport problems and opportunities between Aberdeen and Laurencekirk.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 12:00 pm
Laurencekirk Station. Pic: Ian Steele

Nestrans, the Transport Partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire, is looking to identify options that will encourage more people to travel in a sustainable way along the corridor; be it walking, cycling, or using public transport.

The online survey is live now and will run until Monday, October 18.

The study is being funded by Transport Scotland’s Local Rail Development Fund.

It will investigate rail options, including the potential for new stations south of Aberdeen, as well as a wider range of possibilities across different travel methods.

This will also include improvements to the active travel and bus networks.

Nestrans chairwoman, Councillor Sandra Macdonald, said: “I’d encourage everyone who lives or travels within the area to take part in the consultation.

“This survey provides an excellent opportunity to share your views on the existing network.

"We also want to hear how you plan to travel along this corridor in the future, and what we can do to improve what is available for sustainable and active travel."

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has urged residents to give transport chiefs a “fresh perspective” on local rail travel.He fears ScotRail’s focus on cutting intercity service times has led to fewer cross-country trains stopping at Laurencekirk, and would like this addressed, along with waiting times at Montrose in Angus.

In 2019, Mr Bowie called a public meeting with ScotRail to address timetable changes which shelved the Laurencekirk stop for trains to the Central Belt, while Stonehaven passengers had to change at Montrose to reach the west coast.

He said: “In order to get faster services between our cities, the so-called village stations at the likes of Laurencekirk and Stonehaven were stripped of Intercity trains.

“Passengers change at Montrose to get across to Glasgow and those journeys are often delayed.

“Two years ago, ScotRail admitted that they changed the timetable too hastily and neglected these Aberdeenshire communities.

"A fresh perspective is needed and here is a chance to right a wrong.

“Nestrans are responsible for regional transport strategy and can guide both the Scottish Government and ScotRail where they need to be for our local stations.

“They should be making train travel more attractive, and this would help decarbonise our economy as well as help the long-distance traveller.”

For further information and to take part in the survey, visit the website www.nestrans.org.uk/southcorridorstudy.