Fife bus commuters speak out over cancellations and poor service at online summit

Dozens of Fifers fed up with bus cancellations and poor service have attended an online summit to air their views.
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They signed up to a full house for the event hosted by Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife to discuss the future of the region’s services.

Nearly 50 people joined the discussion with strong representation from Kirkcaldy and the East Neuk, as well as Dunfermline.

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The towns have been hit badly by cancelled services as Stagecoach has battled staff shortages, and recent timetable changes sparked a backlash in Dunnikier where Fife Council stepped in to secure the future of the estate’s key service.

The online summit on bus services in Fife was held this week.The online summit on bus services in Fife was held this week.
The online summit on bus services in Fife was held this week.

The MSP invited constituent to be part of a discussion with bus experts – including Stagecoach, bus passenger representatives, and campaigners.

People raised ongoing issues with service cancellations, including poor communication from companies to passengers, as well as frustration with service withdrawals leaving communities completely isolated from public transport - particularly he withdrawal of the X57 commuter line to Edinburgh.

Mr Ruskell said: “Over the past months I’ve heard from so many of my constituents about their frustration with local bus services – from reliability and timetabling, to affordability and the quality of vehicles.

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“I was delighted to see such an amazing response to our virtual summit with folks sharing their experiences of bus services where they live and their vision for improvements. It was a good chance for Stagecoach to hear directly from their customers and commit to improvements.

"There was good discussion about how we can ensure modal shift in folk’s journeys between Fife and Edinburgh, and the potential role of community run services in more rural areas.”He welcomed Stagecoach’s offer to follow up on specific issues, and will share the full feedback with the company in the coming week. A report will also go to fellow Fife MSP, Jenny Gilruth who is also the Transport Minister.

Mr Ruskell added: “Everyone across Scotland deserves a reliable, affordable and accessible bus service. The challenges facing the network are stark, but our meeting is proof that our communities are full of exciting solutions and ideas for change.