Rosyth – Zeebrugge Ferry Talks Make Progress

OVER the last few months I have met with the Scottish Transport Minister Michael Matheson, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell and port authorities in Rosyth and Zeebrugge, to discuss the possibility of reinstating the Rosyth – Zeebrugge passenger and freight service. No one I have spoken to thus far from Government Ministers north and south of the border to industry insiders, have suggested that this route could not be viable. I have been contacted by Scots up and down the country on my Facebook and Twitter saying how much they valued the service to and from continental Europe.

As the threat of a 'no deal' Brexit becomes ever more likely, we here in Scotland need to make sure our world-renowned fresh produce is not getting held up at ports on the south coast of England. That’s why I am fighting to get an operator to come and reinstate the Rosyth – Zeebrugge Ferry link as soon as possible.

Rail Services on the Fife Circle

The level of disruption we have seen on rail services over the past few weeks has been simply unacceptable. The introduction of the new timetable has clearly had an impact on performance, given the staff training requirements for that change. ScotRail has had to deal with the training required in a shorter period of time than it originally planned due to the late delivery of the new electric trains by Hitachi and issues with Wabtec, who are refurbishing the high-speed trains.

The SNP Scottish Government have already started to identify a suitable public body to make a robust bid for the next ScotRail franchise. The rail network - infrastructure like track, signals, tunnels and bridges - is already publicly owned by the UK Government and run by Network Rail. Nearly 2/3rd’s of the problems with ScotRail stem from signalling and track run by Network Rail. The Scottish Parliament does not have any control Network Rail and I support the further devolution of Network Rail so that it becomes fully accountable to people in Scotland. As a member of the Public Accounts Committee I raised this issue at a recent evidence session on rail franchising. You can watch the video clip on my Facebook page - @DouglasChapmanSNP.

Out and About

I am required to be at Westminster most of the working week, especially with important votes and everything “BREXIT” that is going on just now. However, I am determined to keep in close contact with my constituents and my team and I will be continuing with our programme of street surgeries across the constituency.