CNER snubbed from STPR2
The government's plans for the next twenty years are totally unacceptable to CNER. Despite a clear commitment in the SNP/Green Cooperation deal to study the reconnection of Ellon, and Buchan rail being an option in earlier drafts of this document, the Scottish government and transport Scotland have decided the North East doesn’t need any new rail infrastructure in the next twenty years. This is in direct opposition to the public response evidencing that the precise opposite is in fact the case, that public sentiment for north east rail is overwhelmingly positive. Further, it is difficult to place credibility in Scottish Government commitments to reduce car journeys by 20% without investing in new rail infrastructure and improving connectivity across the North East. This is an area that Transport Scotland highlight has above average levels of car ownership compared to the rest of Scotland. Aberdeen Rapid Transport (ART) goes some way to remediating issues with public transport uptake in the North East, however STPR2 outlines that these plans will come at the expense of other road users. Further, ART will not serve the primary communities CNER is seeking to connect to high quality public transport and deliver modal shift, namely Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
If STPR2 passes without revision, in twenty years’ time, Peterhead and Fraserburgh will still be the largest towns the furthest from a railway station anywhere in Scotland. The representatives of the North East would do well to consider if this is a legacy they would be proud of.
The time for significant capital investment to expand Scotland’s rail network in the North East is long overdue. Every new rail project delivered in Scotland so far has been successful. With the huge potential for freight and passenger traffic that CNER have demonstrated, there is every reason to expect new rail in Buchan to be an equally successful project. CNER consider Transport Scotland’s lack of ambition for North East rail as deeply misplaced and feel this does not stand up to the evidence we have presented.
We at CNER are working to deliver significant and long lasting change in public transport in the North East and deliver what North East residents deserve, high quality rail infrastructure fit for the 21st century.
We continue to engage with the public and broaden our campaign to advance what we and many others agree is the best way forwards to meet the North easts social, environmental and economic objectives.
CNER responded to the consultation in full We urge our supporters to respond by following this link or click the button below.
Editor's Note: Despite a strong response, STPR2 would pass without the revisions we sought. However, out local MSPs did illicit a response from Michael Matheson MSP in the chamber where he confirmed on record that there is nothing preventing a Buchan railway project proceeding outwith CNER subject to a robust business case.
Read our response here: