The long awaited re-opening of an Aberdeenshire railway station is to be delayed by six months.
It comes after Nestrans agreed to help bridge a funding gap of more than £1 million for the project at Kintore. Delays to the Aberdeen to Inverness line upgrades mean that Kintore station has been shunted into 2019, from the original date of December 2018.
However, the multi-million pound plan to re-open the facility which closed its doors in 1964, has secured 60% funding from the Scottish Stations Fund meaning the first trains could pull up in July 2019.
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf wrote to the Nestrans committee to confirm the funding, he said: “I am writing to confirm my commitment to provide additional funding as discussed, on the basis of a capped contribution equivalent to 60% of current forecast costs for the new station.
[quote font_size=”16″ arrow=”yes”]“The offer of an increase in funding is predicted on the requirement that the station construction will be complete by the planned commissioning date of July 2019, as this is critical to allow Scotrail to continue to run passenger services during the main construction works at the east end of the route.”[/quote]
Work on the £12.2million project cannot go ahead until the upgrades to the east end of the line are completed, but councillors heard yesterday that this project has slipped meaning a push-on delay for Kintore.
Councillor Richard Thomson, chairman of the Policy and Resource committee said: [quote font_size=”16″ arrow=”yes”]“I had heard of two similar funds awarded to other Scottish stations that received 60% funding, so that had set some precedent that we should also receive an extra 10% funding. This is a figure of £600,000 or £700,000 that we and Nestrans now do not need to find.”[/quote]
Aberdeenshire Council policy and resource committee agreed to bridge the remaining gap, which will not include the project’s £3.5m contingency or “optimism bias”.
Councillor Martin Ford said: [quote font_size=”16″ arrow=”yes”]“It does not mean peace in our time, but it does means we will get a station.”[/quote]