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17 May 2010

Laurencekirk passenger levels exceed expectations on first anniversary

A Scottish Government and Nestrans investment of £3.5 million in Laurencekirk station has delivered almost double the number of expected passenger journeys Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said today.

Speaking just before the first anniversary of the station re-opening the Transport Minister revealed that almost 64,000 passenger journeys have been made, well above the predicted 36,000.

Mr Stevenson said: “These figures are a clear sign that the local community has welcomed these new services which are delivering more trains and new services while improving access to jobs, education and leisure.

“This project demonstrates this Government’s commitment to investing in transport infrastructure is encouraging drivers out of their cars and on to more sustainable forms of travel.

Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, said: “We are delighted to have delivered 64,000 passenger journeys in Laurencekirk’s first year.  

“This is a massive achievement, especially when the initial estimate was that 36,000 customers would use the station per year.”

He added: “It is heartening to know that we are developing rail services where they are needed most.”

Nestrans Chair Councillor Kevin Stewart said “We are delighted at the figures. This demonstrates that investment in rail in this area produces results and we are keen to work towards developing further rail schemes to build on the success and make rail a real alternative for travel in the area”.

The Grade B listed station was transformed through a £3.5 million investment with Scottish Government funding provided by Transport Scotland along with a 20% contribution from Regional Transport partnership NESTRANS and support from Aberdeenshire Council and a Railway Heritage Trust grant.

Network Rail managed delivery of the project on Transport Scotland’s behalf, with Galliford Try being awarded the design and build contract that included the refurbishment and restoration of the station building; a new accessible footbridge; two new platforms and installation of customer information systems.

The new station, which re-opened on 18 May 2009, provides commuters with a direct rail service - 11 services northbound and 10 services southbound daily during the week.

The scheme plays a key part in Nestrans’ Regional Transport Strategy for the North East.

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