Transport Scotland has unveiled the communities across the country that will receive a share of the Local Rail Development Fund (LRDF).
Announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, the LRDF provides a total of £817,000 in grants, supporting local and regional initiatives to fund appraisal work.
This helps applicants develop an evidence base for potential improvements.
The announcement that eight communities in Scotland will benefit from a share of the LRDF was confirmed during a visit to see the progress that has been made on the £14.5 million Kintore station site, being developed by both Transport Scotland and Network Rail, in partnership with Nestrans and Aberdeenshire Council.
It forms a part of the wider £330 million Aberdeen – Inverness Improvements project, which will see a vital rail line double tracked, easing congestion, and providing more services.
Unsurprisingly, there was strong interest in the Fund; with the eight awards, the total amount allocated is £1.5 million from an available £2 million funding pot.
The eight communities to receive funding include St Andrews for a transport appraisal to assess needs and opportunities in and around the area; elsewhere, Cross Aberdeen travel received funding to assess needs and opportunities in Aberdeen.
This follows a first round of funding, worth just shy of £700,000, awarded to 10 projects.
With Control Period 6 well underway, changes to Scotland’s rail services and infrastructure will continue, as displayed by this funding.
Michael Matheson commented: “Since 2007, we have demonstrated our commitment to Scotland’s railway by investing around £8 billion in rail services and infrastructure.
“Future investment party relies on local communities embracing the potential it offers and, in turn, bringing forward new ideas.
“We know that the costs of transport appraisal can be a significant barrier, but appraisals are a fundamental evidence-gathering step when considering issues and opportunities.
“The LRDF responds to this by providing practical help for local stakeholders and I am pleased that the Fund remains popular with those looking to secure local benefits.”