Plans to examine the reopening of North East railway stations have been welcomed by a North East MSP.
At the Scottish Conservative party conference, it was made party policy to review lines closed due to the Beeching cuts in the 1960s, with a view to reopening connections and stations that will support local growth.
Local MSP Liam Kerr has campaigned to reopen the Cove and Newtonhill stations, which were closed in 1956.
This led to Transport Scotland awarding Nestrans £80,000 for a feasibility study into reopening the latter in May 2020.
Mr Kerr said:
“The Beeching cuts of the 1960s saw iconic Scottish railways and stations closed, leaving many of our North East communities without their own train station.
“Now 50 years later, we need to reassess whether that decision has done long-term damage to the communities affected and whether the economic case for their closure remains relevant. I believe Newtonhill and Cove are prime contenders for reopening.
“Good transport links are essential for helping communities thrive and grow, but the SNP have ignored this for the last 13 years as their focus has been another independence referendum.
“We will focus on rebuilding our communities by restoring Scotland’s railways.
“After Covid, we have an opportunity to invest in the local infrastructure, roads and digital connectivity that our communities need to grow and thrive.”
At Cove Bay, residents in the area have highlighted to Mr Kerr that space is available beside the existing line to reopen the station and serve the area, which has expanded in recent years.
And calls to reinstate a station at Newtonhill have grown since 2016 and the development of the Chapelton of Elsick estate nearby.