FIFE'S SNP MSPs have met with ScotRail's chief to press for improvements on the Fife Circle.

Annabelle Ewing, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Cowdenbeath constituency met with ScotRail Chief Executive, Alex Hynes, yesterday, Wednesday, to press for urgent action to be taken to improve services on the Fife Circle, with concerns about services involving Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Cardenden stations.

The network experienced a large number of cancellations and delays in December as a result of ScotRail crew shortages caused by driver training. The Scottish Government has since issued the rail operator with a formal notice requiring them to set out plans for how performance will be improved.

At the meeting Annabelle Ewing, Shirley-Anne Somerville (Dunfermline), David Torrance (Kirkcaldy) and Jenny Gilruth (Glenrothes and Mid Fife) pressed ScotRail management to make immediate improvements until usual services are restored in the Kingdom.

Improvements highlighted by the MSPs included providing customers with information at the earliest opportunity in the event that services will be cancelled or have fewer carriages than expected. Additionally, the MSPs pressed ScotRail to look to replacement bus services when cancellations occur.

Commenting, Ms Ewing, said: “The disruption to rail services we have seen this winter has been unacceptable. Passengers in the whole of Fife deserve better.

“Unfortunately it seems likely that there will be further disruption during January as staff continue to be taken off services to attend training for new rolling stoc"k.

She added: “Urgent action is therefore needed to improve services during that time. People should not be finding out about cancellations minutes beforehand, and when trains don’t arrive, a replacement bus service needs to be provided to ensure passengers are not left stranded at stations.

“Once these disruptions have been resolved, Fifers needs to see real service improvements in the long term. When new rolling stock becomes available on the network, it should be deployed in Fife as a priority.

“It’s time for ScotRail to step up, and give a concrete commitment that it is serious about delivering for passengers in Fife.”