Fife trains: MSP attacks Scotrail ‘curfew’ as services to be cut between Kingdom and Edinburgh

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A Fife MSP has criticised ScotRail’s “curfew” as plans to slash services between Edinburgh and Fife come into effect from Monday.

Alex Rowley hit out as the train operator unveiled a ‘temporary timetable’ which means Fife residents will not be able to get into or out of Edinburgh by train after 8:00pm.

Train services linking the Kingdom with Edinburgh will be affected, leaving many residents unsure of how to travel between the two areas without a car.

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Scotrail said the cuts were necessary because of a significant number of drivers declining to work overtime as union ASLEF said it would ballot for industrial action over pay.

Scotrail delays - Kirkcaldy station is set to face restrictions on services from MondayScotrail delays - Kirkcaldy station is set to face restrictions on services from Monday
Scotrail delays - Kirkcaldy station is set to face restrictions on services from Monday

Some 700 weekday services being cut across the country.

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The MSP for Mid Fife and Scotland called the curbs an “unacceptable removal of services from the people of Fife.” - and he wants a meeting with Jenny Gilruth, Transport Minister.

Mr Rowley said: “While I welcomed the move to nationalise ScotRail after its disastrous stewardship under Abellio, it would appear the SNP have only managed to herd the service into another disaster for the public.

“The cuts to services announced are a ScotRail imposed curfew and an unacceptable removal of services from the people of Fife that must be reinstated as a matter of urgency.

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“Slashing services will affect Fifers in many different ways - from creating difficulty for workers commuting to and from the nation's capital city to something as simple as enjoying a night out.

“Instead of removing services, the Scottish Government should instead be working to resolve the issues raised by drivers and their union, ASLEF. “

He said it “particularly insulting” to see ScotRail blame workers for the disruptions, adding: “I don't think I'm the only one who would prefer train drivers, responsible for the safety of thousands of passengers a day, to be well-rested rather than working overtime on what should be rest days.

“It is for ScotRail to appropriately staff their service, not for drivers to work around the clock to plug the gaps from poor staffing.

“I have requested an urgent meeting with the Minister for Transport to find out what is being done to immediately resolve this untenable situation.”