Call to ensure Fife is part of new peak rail fare suspension pilot

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The Scottish Government has been urged to include Fife in a trial to suspend peak rail fares.

The call came from Claire Baker MSP after it emerged the initiative would be restricted to certain routes rather than across the network.She wants the Kingdom to be part of the six-month test which will remove peak-time rail fares as a way of making rail travel more affordable and attractive to travellers.

Ms Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland, has written to the Scottish Government expressing disappointment at the limited nature of the planned pilot and urging inclusion of Fife rail routes.

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The Kingdom has suffered poor service in recent years with issues include station skipping and cancellations causing widespread anger.

Kirkcaldy Rail station signageKirkcaldy Rail station signage
Kirkcaldy Rail station signage

She said: “The announcement of a trial scrapping of peak rail fares was welcomed by many, including those for whom the cost of public transport makes it inaccessible, and the news that it will be far more limited in scope is extremely frustrating.

“For rail passengers in Fife, it is just the latest disappointment in terms of rail service provision. For too long Fife rail users have been subject to a substandard service, the cost of which has continued to rise. Delays, cancellations and overcrowding are key features on routes, and far too little has been done to improve services, update stock and encourage people to return to using rail transport.

“Fife commuters have endured poor quality rail services for too lon,g and the removal of peak fares should be just part of a number of changes to improve services throughout the region.”