SNP-Greens deal boosts Peterhead and Fraserburgh rail hopes

The campaign to connect Peterhead, Fraserburgh and other North-east towns to the rail network has been boosted by a commitment by the SNP and Green Party to improve the area’s public transport.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 26th August 2021, 12:36 pm
The Campaign for North East Rail is delighted the agreement puts a new rail line on the agenda.
The Campaign for North East Rail is delighted the agreement puts a new rail line on the agenda.

The SNP Scottish Government and the Scottish Greens have agreed a shared draft policy programme – the Bute House Agreement – which focuses on areas of mutual interest.

The agreement includes a commitment to increase investment in active travel and public transport.

In particular, they state that they will develop a “programme of enhanced public transport improvements in North East Scotland”.

And specific mention is made of “working with Nestrans (the transport partnership for the North-east area), Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils on the feasibility of a mass rapid transit system for the region, and also a rail link between Dyce and Ellon and further north to Peterhead and Fraserburgh”.

The Campaign for North East Rail is thrilled to see the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party recognise the importance of rail connections in the North-east in their draft co-operation agreement.

Jordan Jack, CNER chair, said: “We will be engaging with representatives of both parties, both councils and Nestrans to ensure that the railway reaches all the way to the coast.

“This is so important because Peterhead is the largest population, the furthest from a railway station anywhere in Scotland, and Fraserburgh is second.

"Its more important than ever to reconnect our communities to sustainable travel like rail.

“Peterhead is the largest fishing port in Europe, and combined with other freight such as Brewdog, we can save tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 every year by carrying this by rail.

“New life was breathed into towns along the length of the Borders Railway after it opened, and the same will happen in the North-east. Today, we are a step closer to building it.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the agreement delivered bold policy action on pressing issues. Greens co-leader Lorna Slater described it as a pledge “to work together to build a greener, fairer and independent Scotland”.