A direct rail link from Dunfermline to Glasgow must become a reality for west Fifers, according to Douglas Chapman.
The SNP MP for Dunfermline and West Fife said the already established freight line from Longannet power station to Alloa was the ideal opportunity to trial passenger services to the city.
Mr Chapman will tell a meeting of the Longannet taskforce set up to look at ways to mitigate the plant’s closure at the end of next month that the existing route must not be neglected, and that a full appraisal of its viability should be carried out as part of the west Fife regeneration priority plan.
“The recent Forth Road Bridge closure showed just how much we depend on our north/south links, but it also showed up some of the weaknesses we have in our east/west road and rail infrastructure.
“With the rail infrastructure plan coming up for consultation, I have been speaking with Network Rail about an extension to the Stirling-Alloa rail line which will see it link all the way through to Dunfermline.
“This would give west Fife a direct rail service to Glasgow and the west without the hassle and cost of travelling through Haymarket for those who need to get to Glasgow, meaning it would be cheaper, greener and quicker for all involved,” he said.
The MP said that previously he had been told the route wasn’t viable due to the freight usage and loading operations at Longannet.
He added: “However with those concluding, I am keen to support this idea as part of the consultation on how we continue to stabilise the area.
“Connectivity and transportation play a large role in that.”
The idea, which was initially introduced in the form of a public petition, has been directed to the Longannet taskforce for consideration.
Mr Chapman added: “From the Longannet taskforce meeting next week the west Fife villages need to see a clear plan of action and commitments from the likes of Fife Council to make sure if assessments are carried out, then funding will be sought and won.
“The Longannet closure will hit the villages and we need to see some swift and positive action to create jobs and boost economic vitality.”