Fraserburgh and District councillors are calling on a potential rail line to be extended to the Broch.
The call came after councillors agreed to a feasibility study into whether a rail link can be restored to Ellon and Peterhead.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee last week backed a proposal from Councillor Stephen Smith to push for progress into a study.
The committee had been considering a paper on the Strategic Transport Update for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.
Discussions prompted cross-party agreement that the council should write to NESTRANS (North-east Scotland Transport Partnership) and make its view known that such a study should be brought forward.
Since then, however, councillors in Fraserburgh and Central Buchan have voiced their support for any resurrected rail line to extend to the Broch.
Commenting, Fraserburgh and District Councillor Brian Topping said: “I’m delighted my colleagues have raised this. I’ve raised this ever since I was elected in 1984, even before Aberdeenshire Council was on the go.
“I raised it two or three times last year and I raised it this year.
“Some people see it as a dream but I think we should keep it to the fore. Just look at the Borders, they also pushed for a rail link.
“Grampian Regional Council had a policy to make sure no-one could buy the line so the railway could be resurrected. Over the years, bits of land have been snapped up. But you could still get a station in Fraserburgh.
“This is something I’ve never given up on. I’m delighted with the news, it is now firmly on the agenda.”
Councillor Charles Buchan added: “I think this rail link is now especially worthwhile, with increasing road journey times due to congestion, with new ideas on carbon usage, and with the never-ending spiral of road fuel costs.
“The extra revenue from the Fraserburgh Link would help to make the Aberdeen-Peterhead link more economically viable.
“The whole climate of opinion on rail provision has changed in the last few years, and the popularity of rail travel can be seen from the success of the new Borders-Edinburgh Link, and the passenger data from the Aberdeen-Dyce-Huntly line.
“This would make Fraserburgh more accessible, for visitors, but more importantly, for commercial and industrial concerns, and would be an additional positive element to add to Fraserburgh’s already strong case for attracting new enterprises, including the Off-Shore Wind Operations and Maintainance sector.”
Councillor Ian Tait commented: “I’ve raised this at the Council before. I think the rail line should come to Fraserburgh if that were possible.
“As far as Fraserburgh is concerned, part of the line is now a road. So a new place for a station would have to be found.
“As many transport links as possible is a good thing as manufacturers would have a choice in how to get their goods down south.
“My desire would be to get the line up to Fraserburgh. There’s no reason why the study shouldn’t include Fraserburgh.”
Central Buchan councillor Norman Smith said: “I’m in favour of the rail link coming back. It probably wouldn’t follow the original route, which would affect it going to Fraserburgh. But it would be in everybody’s favour to get it back.”
Commenting, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “Clearly, a feasibility study is a very necessary first step to determine whether or not such a move is possible and I’m delighted that the local transport partnership, NESTRANS, are being asked to take this forward.
“Since 2007, we have seen expansion of rail services along the existing lines in the North-east with more services to Glasgow and Edinburgh now starting and terminating at Inverurie, more trains at Portlethen, a new station at Laurencekirk and a proposed station at Kintore. It’s time to see if we can expand the network into some of Aberdeenshire’s largest communities.”
The Fraserburgh Herald would certainly back any campaign to bring the railway back to Fraserburgh - would you? Email us your views and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @brochherald or comment on Facebook.