Connecting Our Coast would be a good deal for North-east rail
The Scottish Greens have welcomed the release of a feasibility study framework from the Campaign for North East Rail (CNER) which shows the need to re-open rail lines to Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
CNER has been leading the push for rail service connections beyond Ellon to Peterhead and Fraserburgh, having amended its recent #ConnectPeterhead campaign to #ConnectOurCoast.
Within the Green-SNP cooperation agreement and the recently announced Programme for Government, there are proposals for £5 billion of investment for rail across Scotland, including a feasibility study for a “mass rapid transit system for the region" which would look to include connections beyond Ellon to Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
The Scottish Greens says this will reduced car traffic-induced carbon emissions and create much needed jobs for people living in the North-east.
The CNER campaign has already secured cross-party support in the region, with MSPs from the SNP, Conservatives and Labour all on board.
Maggie Chapman, North East Greens MSP, who was a lead negotiator of the Green-SNP cooperation deal, said: "I am really pleased to see the Campaign for North East Rail respond positively to the commitments Scottish Greens have secured as part of the Green-SNP cooperation deal.
"Their feasibility framework shows the need to reopen rail lines beyond Ellon to Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
"The CNER campaign produced a lot of community engagement and respondents to this were asked how likely they would be to use a railway that terminates in Peterhead – 85.8 per cent responded that they 'definitely would', and a further 10.8 per cent said they 'probably would'.
"When those same people were asked whether they would make use of a railway that stopped at Ellon, definite responses dropped to 42 per cent, and a further 22 per cent said they 'probably would'.
"This clearly shows both enthusiasm for the investment secured by Scottish Greens and a desire of local people for us to further support our communities and protect our environment.
"I've been working cross-party on this it's been great to see enthusiasm from colleagues across our region, and across Parliament."
CNER is continuing to seek support for its #ConnectOurCoast campaign, and is encouraging everyone who would like to see Peterhead and Fraserburgh connected to the rail network.
Jordan Jack, CNER co-chair, said: “Every single person that gets in touch and tells us why going all the way to Peterhead and Fraserburgh matters to them will help us make sure it happens.”
CNER also wants the public to contact their local MSPs to make sure they are aware of the strength of support for making the railway happen.
You can find out more at the website campaignfornortheastrail.org.