Labour and the SNP have been accused of behaving like the Chuckle Brothers as they pass the buck on plans for a Levenmouth rail link.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said he could almost hear the bumbling comedy duo shouting their “to me, to you” catchphrase as the two parties blamed each other for a lack of action over the longed-for line.
However, he added: “It is far from funny anymore.”
Mr Rennie’s comments were last night branded unhelpful as the Scottish Parliament prepared to debate the merits of the railway today
They follow a letter from Transport Minister Humza Yousaf defending the decision not to include the link from Leven to Thornton in the £1.1 billion Edinburgh City Deal, despite it being Fife Council’s top transport priority.
In the letter to Mr Rennie, the minister said the council had not included delivery of the line in its city deal proposals but had instead sought funding for further design development work and bridge strengthening.
He added: “Transport Scotland will continue to work with Fife Council as they evolve their business case for Levenmouth.”
The local authority has repeatedly expressed its disappointment that none of its transport projects were included in the deal.
Mr Rennie claimed the people of Fife were losing out as Labour and the SNP bickered.
“It’s astonishing that this critically important project for Fife has failed to make the pass mark for the Edinburgh City Deal,” he said.
“Each should stop passing the buck and get the project agreed, funded and built.”
Fife Council’s Labour and SNP co-leaders reacted angrily to Mr Rennie’s comments.
Labour leader David Ross said council officers had pulled back on bidding for funding for the entire rail link project on the advice of civil servants and had instead concentrated on trying to secure money for a feasibility study and technical design work.
“Everybody in the council is absolutely committed to delivering it,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s helpful for Willie Rennie to start suggesting it’s being passed here, there and everywhere.
“I’m really pleased it’s being debated in the Scottish Parliament.
“I think it will push the Scottish Government to come out and say one way or another whether they support it.”
SNP leader David Alexander pledged the SNP and Labour in Fife were “totally committed” to the rail link.
“Why Willie thinks his rather silly comments help, I’ll leave to him,” he added.