Attn: News desks / local reporters

For immediate release: Tuesday 9 May 2017

SALMOND: BORDERS RAIL A BLUEPRINT FOR BUCHAN TO CONNECT OUR COMMUNITIES

SNP candidate for Gordon will continue to call for rail connection between Aberdeen, Ellon, Fraserburgh and Peterhead

SNP candidate for Gordon, Alex Salmond, has pledged to continue to campaign for a Buchan railway connection between Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and Peterhead, referencing the many successes of the Borders Railway and the positive impacts it brought to surrounding communities since opening in 2015.

The call was led by candidate for Banff and Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, on behalf of the SNP Team North East, which is also comprised of candidate for Aberdeen South, Callum McCaig; candidate for Aberdeen North, Kirsty Blackman and candidate for Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, Stuart Donaldson.

The original Formartine and Buchan railway line was opened in 1861 to provide a link between Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen. It finally closed in 1979 and the tracks were lifted after pleas to the then UK Conservative Government to mothball the line for possible future use fell on deaf ears.

The £358 million Borders Railway, which runs from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, carried 125,000 passengers in its first month and over 500,000 passengers in its first four months of operation, boosting local economies in what has been heralded as a majorly successful infrastructural investment.

Speaking in support of Dr Whiteford, Mr Salmond said:

"As First Minister, I authorised the Borders Railway. Despite the many naysayers including the local Tory MSP it has become a remarkable success. There have been many outstanding infrastructural achievements in the North East like the AWPR, the Inveramsay Bridge and the Aberdeen Emergency Centre. It is important that we seek to build upon those successes and a rail connection between Aberdeen, Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh would be a fine addition to the already impressive SNP infrastructure investments in the North East.”

"Connecting our communities is key to seeing them achieve their full potential. Alongside the redoubling of the line between Inverurie and Aberdeen and the new station at Kintore, further rail developments would emulate the positive impacts the Borders Railway has had upon surrounding areas, bringing new people and opportunities to our local communities and what they offer."

ENDS