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Election 2021: Conservatives highlight railways importance for transport policy

By David Porter

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Aberdeenshire Conservatives candidates visited Maud Railway Museum to highlight their party's policy to review Beeching cuts and the viability of bringing back the Formartine-Buchan Line.

Once a major railhead, Maud served as the junction splitting the Aberdeen line to Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast candidate Mark Findlater said: "Fraserburgh is the town in the UK that is furthest from a railway station.

"The return of the railways is important for jobs and the economy and for connecting Buchan to the wider world."

The last passenger took a train directly north of Aberdeen in 1965 with freight continuing to Peterhead until 1970 and 1979 at Fraserburgh.

Aberdeenshire East candidate and history teacher Stewart Whyte said: "It is clear with hindsight the Beeching cuts were a mistake.

"But today, railways will be vital for helping us meet our net zero carbon obligations.

"Aberdeenshire is ready to play its part but we need support from the Scottish Government.

"The return of the Borders railway has been a great success and has shown that if you build it, people will come."

Mr Findlater added: "Folks in Buchan feel like the forgotten corner of SNP Scotland.

"With the Scottish Conservatives it never will be."

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