CLAIRE Baker has urged the Scottish Government to take into account the need to ensure the safety of commuters as part of planning for the re-opening of non-essential offices and other workplaces.

During Portfolio Questions to the Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, MSP for Mid Scotland Fife, Claire Baker highlighted issues of overcrowding on commuter services between Fife and Edinburgh and asked whether the re-opening of offices would depend on resolving capacity issues on public transport.

Cardenden, Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath stations provide a key link to Edinburgh for workers.

The Scottish Labour MSP said: “While any announcement on the re-opening of non-essential workplaces has been pushed back, it is crucial that the planning stage takes account of how people will travel to those workplaces when they do re-open.

“The Fife to Edinburgh rail route is usually one of the most overcrowded in Scotland and has had issues with capacity for some time. When the tap is turned on and people are able to return to their place of work, they need to know that they will be able to travel there without putting themselves at increased risk of coronavirus.

"The current guidance for public transport on distancing means capacity is severely restricted and is not compatible with increased passenger numbers which would result from the re-opening of offices.

“The limited capacity on routes has to be addressed so commuters can travel safely and I will continue to press the Scottish Government on this.”