1 January 2016

Latest NE Rail Passenger Figures Back Case for Buchan Rail - Stevenson

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has said the latest figures for rail passenger numbers across North-east stations back the case for extending the rail network to Buchan.

Figures for 2014/15 which have been released show 823,866 passengers used Dyce Station, which was controversially closed by Beeching and re-opened in 1984, compared with just under 270,000 in the same period ten years ago.

Laurencekirk Station, which was officially re-opened in May 2009 by Mr Stevenson as then-Transport Minister, was estimated at that time to see 36,000 passengers per year. The figures for its first year smashed the forecasts with over 56,000 passenger journeys from the station. Now, six years on, that figure has doubled to over 112,000.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“These figures show a spectacular growth in rail passenger journeys in the North-east over the past decade. The investment in rolling stock and infrastructure and support for the railways from the Scottish Government has helped, but more and more people are coming to realise that for many journeys, rail offers convenience and comfort.

“When I officiated at the re-opening of Laurencekirk Station in 2009 I said at the time the new station will provide a real boost to the local community delivering more trains and new services for commuters and improving access to jobs, education and leisure. The same can be true of a rail link to Buchan. And just look at how popular the Borders Railway has proved in its first few months of operation, breaking all forecasts.

“Investment in our transport infrastructure – road and rail – is vital if we are to achieve the twin goals of improved connectivity to the rest of the country and also making our area more enticing for the people we need to attract to fill key vacancies in teaching and medicine.

“These figures make an excellent case for Buchan Rail.”

Stewart Stevenson
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