Calls for response on Cove and Newtonhill stations to be published now

Transport chiefs are being presssed to set out their timetable for reopening rail stations after 65 years on the sidelines.

By Dawn Renton
Thursday, 8th April 2021, 6:00 am
Newtonhill station along with Cove Bay closed to passengers in 1956 due to Beeching cuts.
Newtonhill station along with Cove Bay closed to passengers in 1956 due to Beeching cuts.

Both Cove Bay and Newtonhill stations closed to passengers in 1956 due to Beeching cuts, and residents have indicated there is both the space and desire for new stops in both communities.

Liam Kerr, the Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine first contacted SNP transport secretary Michael Matheson over getting both stations back on track in 2019, urging him to meet community groups over the prospect.

Funding for a feasibility study into both followed and Transport Scotland said a “Case for Change” was received from local transport body Nestrans in November last year.

Mr Kerr has now urged Mr Matheson to publish his agency’s response to the business case “with urgency”.

Pointing to the success of reopened stations elsewhere in Aberdeenshire, he said: “There is already proof this can be done well – look at Laurencekirk and Kintore.

“With a growing population to the south of the city, bringing rail services directly to Cove and Newtonhill would bring massive benefits to the communities, improving connectivity and helping reduce congestion on local roads.

“The appraisal came back last year and I want Mr Matheson to bring the response forward with urgency.

"This can’t be left to languish on someone’s desk.”

Angus Council’s economic development spokesman Braden Davy said reopening the stations would benefit the Aberdeen Crossrail project between Inverurie and Montrose.

The Scottish Conservative candidate for Angus North & Mearns said: “It’s time we looked at the repercussions of Beeching closures across the North East and how infrastructure can help drive the local economy.

“Building capacity from Aberdeen to Angus would be good for people and the environment, cutting wear and tear on the A90 and on motorists.”

He added: “After Covid, there is a chance to invest in things that our communities need to prosper.

"What better way to help rebuild our communities than by restoring Scotland’s railways?”