THE Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area’s two SNP MSPs met with the Scottish Government’s Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, along with their two county colleagues, to discuss improvements in the standard of rail services in Fife and state that more carriages must be put on the Circle.

Kinglassie MSP, Jenny Gilruth and Annabelle Ewing, MSP for Cowdenbeath, joined Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville, and Kirkcaldy’s David Torrance, to highlight concerns about rail provision, following ongoing service disruptions on the Fife Circle in recent months.

A recent timetable change, accompanied by the end of ScotRail’s driver training programme, has seen services improve marginally at the end of May.

However, the MSPs discussed with the Cabinet Secretary how this must be the first step towards delivering a substantial improvement in the standard of services going forward. They are calling for the delivery of additional rolling stock on the Fife Circle as a priority, to increase capacity and improve passengers’ experiences.

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP, Jenny Gilruth, said: “Whilst it is heartening that things have improved in recent weeks, there is still a need to prioritise improving Fife’s train services.

“Fife is the third largest council area in the country, after Edinburgh and Glasgow, but unlike the nation’s largest cities, many Fifers have to travel outwith the Kingdom every day to their place of work. That’s exactly why having a reliable rail service is so important, because people’s jobs depend upon it.

“I will continue to work with my MSP colleagues from the Kingdom to ensure that Fife’s rail service is prioritised as a matter of urgency.”

Cowdenbeath MSP, Annabelle Ewing, added: “Whilst I have expressed concerns about some of the recent timetable changes in terms of their impact on the journeys of some commuters from my constituency, I have been pleased to learn that there has been a reduction in cancellations and an improvement in the number of carriages on each train. There is a need for an urgent turnaround in approach from ScotRail to ensure that significant improvements to the service in Fife are seen as a priority.”