While proposing the resolution, the Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP stated that the North East had contributed billions of pounds to the UK economy, and that it was “time some of that was invested back here”.
She has previously held a successful public meeting in Peterhead in August where leaders of the Campaign for North East Rail (CNER) showcased their proposals to members of the public. The public meeting followed on from the success of CNER’s presentation to Ms Adam’s ‘Making the Most of the Coast: Tourism Forum’.
The Scottish Government published figures for the projects who are set to benefit from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) of which CNER were awarded £250,000 for a feasibility study to examine the proposed rail links. The JTF is a £500 million ten-year commitment that will support projects in the North East and Moray which contribute towards the region’s transition to net zero. The funding application from CNER was lodged following engagement with Ms Adam, who is confirmed to have made the initial suggestion to utilise the Just Transition Fund for a feasibility study. The proposition followed a series of engagements between the Ms Adam and CNER.
The campaign has so far received significant public support from locals and organisations such as, the Broch Business Together Association, the Banffshire & Buchan Coast Tourism Forum, and others.
Ms Adam has been vocal in her support of bringing rail back to Peterhead and Fraserburgh and has described the prospect as “transformational”, encouraging supporters of the campaign to get in contact with her to express their backing.
She said: “There’s a clear demand for rail links here, with an overwhelming amount of people expressing that rerailing Fraserburgh and Peterhead is long overdue. Feedback from residents is often that this should have been done 40 years ago, and I don’t disagree with that.
“I have to say, the momentum behind this campaign has been phenomenal. All of us who live and work here already know how stunning our coastline is, and investing in rail links will unlock the North East corner to significantly more business, trade and tourism.
“Regeneration is the biggest factor here. By investing in rail, it will have a significantly positive impact in regard to putting more money in the pockets of the people who live and work here. This could be transformational.
“I will continue to do everything I can to make this a reality and if current momentum continues at this pace, it will showcase a sufficient demand for this. Please continue to get in touch with me to express your support of the campaign because the more people that I hear from, the more concrete of a case I have to display to the Government to continue with making this a reality.”
Leeann Mcwhinnie, Councillor for Peterhead North & Rattray said: “This is brilliant news that we are one step closer to rerailing Peterhead and Fraserburgh as this is something the area desperately needs . Massive thanks to Karen Adam MSP and her team for all their hard work in helping make this feasibility study a reality.”
Stephen Smith, Councillor for Peterhead South & Cruden said: “This is very good news indeed. CNER are running an excellent campaign to gather support for a rail link to Buchan which I have been pleased to support.
“This funding from the Scottish Government will allow important work to be done in terms of taking the project forward.
“Connecting our communities is vital to seeing them achieve their full potential. The success of the Borders Railway provides a template and shows what can be done.”