A new north-east train station will not be completed until next May, it can be revealed.
A dispute has broken out over the finishing date of the Kintore Railway Station.
Claims have been made the new station was originally timetabled for a December 2019 finish, but transport operators have denied this.
Previous Nestrans reports had mentioned that date, but both Transport Scotland and Network Rail have denied it was the target.
And Councillor Glen Reid today hit out at the rail body. He said: “I was dismayed when Network Rail dropped a bombshell that Kintore station would not be built and opened by December this year, and that it would now be May 2020.
“In all of the recent briefings and meetings with Aberdeenshire Council and Network Rail, the local councillors have been assured that the station would open later this year.
“Residents of Kintore and the surrounding area are understandably very disappointed to learn of this delay.
“At the Kintore and District Community Council meeting, there was a presentation by Network Rail where they claimed the date of December 2019 had been ‘aspirational’, but this was the first time that I had ever heard that.
“The bigger picture is that once the station is built and operational, it will be transformational for Kintore, but the communication from Network Rail has been appalling.”
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Network Rail said there was never an opening date agreed until all the legal paperwork was completed and it expects a May 2020 opening.
A spokesman for the operator said: “We have been working closely with Transport Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council to develop Kintore station. We understand the importance of this project to the local community and all the agencies involved are working hard to deliver the new station as quickly as possible.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said claims of a December 2019 finish date were “false” and that neither party had given a specific date for delivery.
He said: “We have consistently stated this project would be early in the next rail five-year funding period and that is still the case.
“Indeed, it is through an increase in Scottish Government funding that this long-awaited project can now be delivered, underlining our commitment.”