APRIL showed a much better performance from ScotRail, but one of the area's three MPs said this week that while it has been an improvement to see nine out of ten trains running on time on the Fife Circle, there is still some way to go before passengers will get confidence in the services back.

Crossgates, Hill of Beath and Moss-side MP, Douglas Chapman, said that he wanted 'Crush Hour' consigned to the history books.

Commenting, Mr Chapman said: “There is no getting away from it - the level of disruption we have seen on Fife rail services over the past year has been simply unacceptable. "Passengers deserve to see improvements far more quickly than they have been coming and I will continue to ensure my constituents’ views are heard at senior management level within ScotRail until services are running at an acceptable standard".

Mr Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, has been really concerned with the level of service linking Cardenden, Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline and Rosyth stations with Edinburgh, where cancellations have been a major headache for travellers, especially commuters working in Edinburgh.

He added: “Further to my recent meeting with ScotRail’s Chief Executive, Alex Hynes, I have been promised a monthly performance update. The latest figures show that almost nine in ten ScotRail trains ran on time in April, reaching an eight-month high.

“The new timetable change should bring with it improved capacity and as the new electric trains are introduced on the Edinburgh - Glasgow route this will gradually boost the number of carriages available on the Fife Circle line.

“Under the Remedial Plan ScotRail prepared at the instruction of the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland is closely monitoring ScotRail’s progress on addressing the issues that have led to sub-standard performance.

“In the interim, ScotRail are providing extra compensation for season ticket holders who use routes that have been most affected by cancellations, but I would like to see automatic compensation for rail travellers.

"As many more people buy their ticket by debit or credit card, recompensing rail passengers automatically when a service under-performs is much more technically feasible than ever before.

“I fully appreciate the huge impact recent disruption has had on rail passengers, particularly commuters, and I don’t underestimate the need for radical improvements. I will continue to keep the pressure on ScotRail to deliver over the weeks and months ahead until we reach a point where West and Central Fifers can rely on rail to get them safely to their destination on time, every time.

“Just as the old “slam door” carriages that used to be on the Fife Circle not so many years ago are consigned to history so, by working with ScotRail, we must move to a new era of reliable rail travel for all local rail users and make some of the recent problems a thing of the past. We have to be striving for the ideal situation."