CrossCountry trains set to resume stops at key Fife stations
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Preliminary timetables suggest that they could return from May.
In an email to stakeholders last month, CrossCountry announced that it planned to re-introduce stops at Fife stations in its timetable.
One south-bound train will call at Leuchars, Cupar and Ladybank, as well as other stations in Fife, on weekday and Saturday mornings with the first service scheduled for Monday, May 22.
The route connects Aberdeen to Penzance and calls at stations across the north, midlands and southwest of England. The pre-pandemic service included two CrossCountry trains per day.
The news has been welcomed by politicians in north-east Fife who have been campaigning for improved real services to the area.
Councillor Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews and Strathkinness, said: “While it is good that CrossCountry services are apparently being restored to Fife, the reduction from the pre-covid timetable means that the direct cross-border services to the Midlands and West Country will be less than in the days of British Rail.
“There is no lack of demand for travel from North East Fife to these destinations, particularly from Leuchars, due to the University of St Andrews. Late night southbound travel on a Sunday appears not to have been restored, which will curtail the options both for North East Fifers to attend Sunday evening activities in Aberdeen, as well as the length of time visitors to St Andrews can spend there before having to rush to Leuchars for the last train back to Edinburgh.
“While it is good that CrossCountry trains will no longer whizz through Leuchars, Cupar and Ladybank without stopping, the proposed service is only around half what it was at the beginning of 2020.”
Wendy Chamberlain MP for North East Fife, added: “I’m glad that the company has finally reversed pandemic-era cuts after restoring stops north of Dundee last year. The rail industry faced many challenges during the pandemic and patterns of travel are still different to what they were before.
"However we should be aiming to improve rail services and that begins with restoring pre-covid services.”