A planned transport interchange in Fife must not be a “glorified bus stop”, an MSP has said.
The interchange was proposed for High Valleyfield by Stagecoach as part of a transport appraisal for west Fife, prepared on behalf of Fife Council.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, the SNP MSP for Dunfermline and West Fife, is supportive of the idea as a way to provide better bus access for west Fifers but has stressed it must be the first step in a conversation about improving transport links in the area.
The current proposal would provide better links for people living in High Valleyfield, and the surrounding area to express services operating along the A985.
However, there is no detail about the changes which will need to be made to services across the rest of west Fife for it to operate effectively.
Ms Somerville said: “I think that a bus interchange for west Fife is a great idea.
“Currently, there is nowhere for buses to stop along the A985 between Cairneyhill and Kincardine, so a hub would certainly provide that.
“The proposal for it to be situated at High Valleyfield has a great deal of merit although I’m aware that other west Fife locations have been suggested and those must be considered as well.
“An interchange could also help enhance the transport network in west Fife, which has historically been poorly served by public transport. “
But, she warned, there was no point in having a bus interchange without improvements to the services supporting the rest of the west Fife villages. “That’s why it’s important for Fife Council to develop a plan, to fully support a transport hub in west Fife.
“I would also hope that the discussion about an interchange is the start of a more radical process to expand bus services in west Fife.”
Stagecoach East Scotland commercial manager Scott Hall said: “As part of our ongoing engagement, we have recently had several very constructive meetings with local councillors regarding local public transport access in west Fife villages.
“Stagecoach East Scotland have previously suggested the need for a transport interchange in the Valleyfield area, allowing improved access from west Fife to nearby towns and cities via our local and Express City Connect networks.
“We look forward to continuing these discussions to provide the best possible transport network for local residents.”