Demand for Newtonhill and Cove railway stations
A travel survey on behalf of North East transport partnership Nestrans has revealed public support for new railway stations at Newtonhill and Cove.
More than 1100 people responded to a travel survey on behalf of Nestrans which focused on the Aberdeen to Laurencekirk corridor.
The report for the Nestrans board on December 8 says: "There is demand for additional rail infrastructure along the corridor, particularly from Cove and Newtonhill with 47% indicating that a new station in Cove would encourage them to use the train for more journeys and 42% indicating the same for a new station in Newtonhill.
"However, it should be noted that some concerns were raised regarding the potential demand for rail in light of changing travel patterns as a result of the pandemic. 52% of respondents noted that reduced cost of fares would encourage them to use the train for more journeys."
The report also highlights active travel. "There is demand for improved active travel facilities along the route, with half of respondents indicating that long-distance walking and cycling infrastructure is needed and 46% indicating that improved walking and cycling infrastructure within settlements is required."
On bus services, the report says there is demand for improved services, with 43% indicating that there are journeys they would like to make by bus that they are currently unable to do. "In order to encourage greater bus use, the most popular responses were in relation to improved frequency (46%), reduced cost of fares (46%), quicker journey times (38%) and services to a wider range of destinations (37%)."
There were 418 responses from Cove, 297 from Newtonhill, 109 from Laurencekirk, 50 from Portlethen, 36 from Chapelton, 28 from Stonehaven, and 24 from Muchalls. Nestrans officers will now consider the key findings.
North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison said: “It is clear there is a strong level of support for new stations. However they are not inexpensive, and more work will be required before we see trains stopping once again in the village. Many questions remain, such as location and whether sufficient parking can be provided for those unable to walk or cycle to a station.”