A busy rail service for Dundee and Fife commuters has suffered repeated disruption since last autumn, new figures have revealed.
The ScotRail route leaving Dundee at 7.09am, travelling through Fife to Edinburgh, was disrupted more than 11% of the time according to statistics obtained by Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker.
ScotRail stressed that only 2% of planned services had actually been cancelled completely since October 2015, adding that £475 million is being invested in the biggest-ever train improvement programme which will see 90% of train fleets either new or fully refurbished over the next seven years.
Mrs Baker raised the issue as part of her ongoing fight to improve rail services in the region and called on the rail operator to take action.
She said: “For many workers, the Fife Circle is a vital transport link where even the slightest disruption can result in missed meetings or days off work.
“While I appreciate that some disruptions can be out with the control of ScotRail, that the vast majority come from a reduction in coaches seems to indicate that this is a problem that they should be able to fix.
“For many commuters on the Fife Circle, that over 11% of their services have been disrupted is simply unacceptable.”
Out of the 246 trains which were supposed to leave Dundee at 7.09am since October last year, 28 have either been cancelled or run with half the intended number of carriages, leading to overcrowding.
But Mrs Baker said it was not all bad news for commuters.
The Labour MSP said she had secured a victory in her campaign after ScotRail confirmed they were planning to put on more coaches for the peak time service.
She said ScotRail had agreed to increase the number of coaches leaving Dundee to five when electric trains are introduced to the Edinburgh and Glasgow route.
Mrs Baker added: “Train services, or rather lack of train services, is one of the biggest issues to fill my inbox as an MSP.
“From the Levenmouth Rail Link to peak time services on the Fife Circle it is clear that the kingdom often gets short changed.
“That is why I am pleased to see that ScotRail is committed to increasing the number of coaches available for their peak time service.
“However, it is worth remembering that this service was originally scheduled to run with six coaches so there is still room for improvement.”
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: “One of the biggest issues concerning our customers is busy trains.
“In recognition of this, we are set to deliver the biggest improvement programme in ScotRail’s history which will see extensive upgrades to existing fleets, the arrival of new trains and on board enhancements like better wifi and at-seat power points.
“This really is the start of an incredible period of transformation which will see thousands of extra seats being added to services, shorter journey times and an improved overall rail experience for customers across Scotland.”