MSP demands a Fife platform for rail consultation

November 26 2016, 8.26amUpdated: November 25 2016, 4.28pm
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Claire Baker MSP feels Fifers are being short-changed.

Fife commuters may have to take a train to complain about unfair pricing, delays and cancellations on Scotland’s rail network, it has been revealed.

The Scottish Government wants to meet the public to hear their views as it develops its key rail priorities and investment for the coming years.

But despite the fact Fife is the third largest local authority area in Scotland, none of the seven face-to-face workshops with Transport Scotland officials will be held in the region.

The nearest ones will be in Dundee or South Queensferry.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker has accused the Scottish Government of ignoring Fife commuters.

“With unfair pricing, delays and cancellations, the irony that Fifers will have to get on a train to go to a workshop will not be lost on commuters,” she said.

“Fifers deserve to have a say on the future of rail in Scotland. They have been short changed for far too long and this must be addressed,”

The call comes as the Scottish Government launches its consultation on a Rail Infrastructure Strategy.

People can take part online at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/transport-scotland/rail-infrastructure-strategy-from-2019 or engage in discussions at one of the workshops.

Mrs Baker and Fife Council’s deputy leader Lesley Laird have both written to transport officials to ask them to arrange a meeting in Fife.

Mrs Baker said it would be the ideal place to press the case for the re-introduction of the Levenmouth rail link and for the creation of a railway station in Newburgh.

Mrs Laird said: “Fife is the third largest local authority in Scotland and it seems unthinkable that in reviewing strategic rail transport you would not come to the kingdom to hear the views of Fifers.

“Fife and its communities have a strong interest in rail connectivity, reliability, sustainability and affordability…and it is essential that Fifers have the opportunity to attend a workshop here in Fife.”

A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said it had not been possible to visit every local authority given the timescales involved but said potential venues and dates would be discussed with Fife Council.

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