Transport Minister discusses key issues for travel in the North-east with Nestrans Board

Lucy Johnston 2018

Councillor Sandra Macdonald (Vice Chair), Mr Humza Yousaf (Scottish Minister for Transport and the Islands), Dr Margaret Bochel (Vice Chair) and Councillor Peter Argyle (Chair)

A range of transport initiatives took a step forward today (Wednesday, 14 February) following the meeting of the Nestrans Board.

The Regional Transport Partnership discussed key issues for transport in and around the North-east as they were joined at their first meeting of the year by the Scottish Minister for Transport & the Islands, Mr. Humza Yousaf.

Nestrans Chair, Councillor Peter Argyle and Vice Chairs Councillor Sandra Macdonald and Dr. Margaret Bochel led discussions for the Board with the Minister on a variety of ongoing transport matters including; the timescale and interventions for the Aberdeen to Central Belt rail investment; the ongoing review of the National Transport Strategy and role of Regional Transport Partnerships; the proposed Infrastructure Levy as part of the upcoming Planning Bill; the Strategic Transport Appraisal, undertaken as part of the City Region Deal and the road and rail opportunities for improving transport links north of Aberdeen.

The Board discussed the challenges and aspirations for transport in the North-east and in particular wished to recognise the benefits the area has gained thanks to the strength of partnership working and a regional outlook.

The remainder of the board meeting saw discussions on a number of other ongoing strategic projects, which included the next steps for the Fraserburgh and Peterhead to Aberdeen Strategic Transport Study.

On discussing the report, Board members agreed a range of recommendations to progress both road and rail elements under the City Region Deal Strategic Transport Appraisal as well as instructing Nestrans officers to commission further work on the rail elements, to gain a better understanding of potential and likely impact on other rail aspirations.

Nestrans Chair Councillor Peter Argyle said, “The Board meeting today was a very productive afternoon for progressing key transport issues for the North-east.

“On behalf of the Nestrans Board and both Local Authorities I would like to thank the Minister for meeting with us and I’m pleased that he has been able to join us at a time when a significant amount of development in infrastructure is underway in the North-east.

“Many of the issues we discussed showcased the wide range of projects which have benefitted from the effective collaboration between key partners working towards the best interests of our area. We look forward to working together with the Minister and Transport Scotland as we consider the area’s future aspirations and anticipate what is needed to help support our economy as it continues to grow and develop.”