Nestrans (the Regional Transport Partnership for Aberdeen City and Shire) is carrying out a multi-modal study to investigate transport problems and opportunities between Aberdeen and Laurencekirk considering walking, cycling, bus and rail travel. The main aim of this study is to identify options that will encourage more people to travel sustainably for trips along the corridor (i.e. walking, cycling and using public
transport), particularly for regular commuting journeys.
An Initial Appraisal: Case for Change report was submitted to Transport Scotland in November 2020, with feedback from Transport Scotland indicating that additional stakeholder engagement is warranted to support making the Case for Change. Therefore, a programme of stakeholder and public engagement is commencing to support the study in order to better understand views on the existing transport network along this corridor; how individuals plan to use the transport network on
Andrew has urged residents to give transport chiefs a “fresh perspective” on local rail travel as the study launches today. He believes this is an opportunity for people in Laurencekirk, Stonehaven and Portlethen to make the case for improved access to rail travel.
The Conservative MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine fears operator ScotRail’s focus on cutting intercity service times has led to fewer cross-country trains stopping at Laurencekirk, and would like this addressed, along with waiting times at Montrose in Angus.
In 2019, Andrew called a public meeting with ScotRail to address timetable changes which shelved the Laurencekirk stop for trains to the Central Belt, while Stonehaven passengers had to change at Montrose to reach the west coast.
“In order to get faster services between our cities, the so-called village stations at the likes of Laurencekirk and Portlethen were stripped of Intercity trains.
“Passengers change at Montrose to get across to Glasgow and those journeys are often delayed.
“Two years ago, ScotRail admitted that they changed the timetable too hastily and neglected these Aberdeenshire communities.
“Nestrans are responsible for regional transport strategy and can guide both the Scottish Government and ScotRail where they need to be for our local stations.
“They should be making train travel more attractive, and this would help decarbonise our economy as well as help the long-distance traveller.”
The online survey is at nestrans.org.uk/projects/studies/aberdeen-laurencekirk-mms/ and will be open to October 18.