Step forward in Fife MSP’s rail campaign

Claire Baker MSP outside Burntisland Railway Station
Claire Baker MSP outside Burntisland Railway Station

A Fife MSP’s campaign for better rail services in Fife has moved up a gear after Scotrail confirmed it is looking at ways of addressing capacity issues on trains during peak times.

The move comes after the MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife wrote to ScotRail raising her concerns about overcrowding on the 07.09 train from Dundee to Edinburgh, which calls at all Fife Circle Stations via Burntisland.

According to Ms Baker, constituents had been in touch complaining the service would often run with half the intended number of carriages, leading to overcrowding.

In response, Ms Baker said that ScotRail told her it plans to increase the peak time service to five coaches, when electric trains are introduced to the Edinburgh and Glasgow route.

Ms Baker said: “Train services, or rather lack of train services, is one of the biggest issues to fill my inbox as an MSP. From the Levenmouth Rail Link to peak time services on the Fife Circle it is clear that the Kingdom often gets short changed.

“That is why I am pleased that ScotRail is committed to increasing the number of coaches available for their peak time service.

“For many workers, the Fife Circle is a vital transport link where even the slightest disruption can result in missed meetings or days off work. Whilst I appreciated that some disruptions can be out with the control of ScotRail, that the vast majority come from a reduction in coaches seems to indicate this is a problem they should be able to fix.”

A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “We fully appreciate there are some peak services where adding extra carriages would improve the customer experience for passengers in Fife. Our train planning team are looking at ways to address this in our upcoming timetable changes. This year sees the start of our £475 million train improvement programme which will see us bring in new trains and upgrade our existing fleet and deliver exciting upgrades like better wifi and at-seat power points.

“This is an extraordinary programme of works that will give Scotland a railway of which we can be truly proud.

“We know that one of the biggest issues concerning our customers is busy trains. We hope, with the improvement programme, people will see we are taking action.”

The spokeswoman added: “Alongside the massive projects we are currently delivering, this programme will bring more seats, shorter journey times and a rail service that is better for our environment.”