Scotrail bosses under pressure over changes to Fife train services

Rail bosses are coming under pressure from Fife MSPs to re-think their plans for timetable changes in 2022.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:54 am

Concerns have been raised over fewer trains on some services, and longer journey times if the proposals are approved by the Scottish Government and brought in next May.

Now, Mark Ruskell MSP has organised an online public meeting to get more reaction before the consultation deadline of October 1.

And Claire Baker MSP has called for greater flexibility in response to passenger demand.

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Picture Michael Gillen

The politicians’ actions came after Scotrail unveiled its proposed timetable changes earlier his month.

Ms Baker, who met with Scotrail bosses last week, sought assurances that peak services for commuters would not be affected - and that further changes would be made if the proposed timetable didn’t meet the needs of travellers.

She also urged the business to address longer term issues on the Fife Circle such as overcrowding and the use of old rail stock.

She said: “We are still at a point where many people are uncertain about a return to workplaces and many of those who previously travelled to offices are making changes to where and how they work.

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“I was reassured peak time services were not being reduced, but given that pre-pandemic peak travel to and from Fife was characterised by delays and overcrowding, no one wants to just see a return to business as usual for our train services. I have urged Scotrail to continue to listen to customer need and to work to improve services to and from Fife.

Mr Ruskell’s online event takes place on Wednesday, September 29 when he will be joined by representatives from rail trade unions and passenger groups. It is open to the public.

He said: “It will be an opportunity for people in Fife to have their say on the proposed changes.

“As we look to rebuild from the pandemic and address the climate emergency, public transport is more important now than ever.

“That’s why it’s vital that the community are as involved in the process of designing the new timetable as possible. “

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