Ambitious plans for a multi-million-pound rail link between Aberdeen International Airport and the new exhibition centre look set to be abandoned.
Three years ago city council bosses unveiled their vision for a track between the airport and new £333 million P&J Live arena at Bucksburn.
But transport consultants estimate the project would cost £100m – £30m more than first expected, a new report has revealed.
The findings, which will be reported to members of regional transport partnership Nestrans, outline the increased estimated cost, adding that a better option would be to develop a new station on the main line, near the new exhibition centre.
The report said: “Due to embankments, bridging over a number of roads and the possible requirement to relocate International Avenue, the impact is considered to be significant and it is recommended that a better option would be to consider the potential for a new station on the main line, close to P&J Live, and the option of connecting buses or other opportunities linking the airport.”
The Evening Express revealed last year that transport consultants had cast doubt on building the new “rail spur” on land belonging to the exhibition centre.
They argued it was “unlikely” an airport connecting line would be suitable and that it could impact on neighbouring homes.
They were asked to provide further information to the board, including how much it would cost and any physical restrictions, such as steep slopes, to give a “fuller picture”.
Sandra Macdonald, Aberdeen City Council’s transport spokeswoman who sits on the Nestrans board, is in favour of the board exploring a light rail option to connect the two sites.
She added: “I would look at a light transit option rather than a rail spur from the existing rail network we have.
“I don’t know how feasible that is but it’s something that should be looked at and something that has been mentioned to me as doable.”