Tayside and Fife would “benefit hugely” from plans to boost rail, road and sea links to Montrose, according to a local MP.
Angus MP Kirstene Hair has thrown her support behind the reopening of Montrose’s disused railhead, which would allow mass freight to pass to and from the North Sea.
Montrose Port Authority is currently in talks with Network Rail over transferring the facility, which would make it easier to move cargo without relying on single carriageway roads. Following discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport, Scottish Conservative Ms Hair is confident this can be achieved.
She said: “I welcomed Chris Grayling to Montrose and explained to him the aspirations that the port and local authority have.
“I have stressed to him that there is an opportunity to drive up Angus’ productivity by reopening the disused railhead.
“A new railhead would stimulate the local economy, making Montrose an even more attractive cargo handling centre for this part of Scotland and creating new jobs in the process.
“The UK Government is about to announce the Tay Cities Deal, which is expected to see millions pumped in to the regional economy by each of Scotland’s governments.
“I want Montrose to be at the front of the queue for investment and will continue to press for this.”
The redundant eight-acre railhead site could be used for the transportation of a wide range of cargoes currently handled at the port, including agricultural produce.
It was last used for the transportation of agricultural lime and is still in relatively good condition.
MPA chief executive Nik Scott-Gray previously said the redevelopment of the old redundant eight-acre railhead site would be an opportunity to transform the port into a versatile multi-modal hub covering road, rail and sea.
He said the development would also deliver tangible environmental benefits that would help meet national carbon emission targets.
Improved road links to the main A90 dual carriageway are also seen as being essential to ensure economic growth.
Oil and gas continue to be significant businesses for the port with anchor handlers, platform supply vessels and survey vessels all adding to the mix of vessels handled and going from ports around the North Sea rim, such as Holland, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are committed to increasing the amount of freight we carry on our railway and we have had discussions with Montrose Port Authority and our freight operators regarding their aspirations for the yard.”