West Fife Rail

Douglas Chapman's constituency includes Crossgates, Hill of Beath and Moss-side.

'FOR many of you who have followed my work over the years you will know how passionate I have been since I was first elected to re-open the West Fife rail-link between Dunfermline and Alloa. This has one again come into the forefront of our minds as Scotland looks to transition out of lockdown and restart our economy following the pandemic. We have heard a lot of talk about making sure we have a green recovery and putting sustainable policies at the heart of anything we do. That is why I am once again championing the idea of opening the West Fife rail-line as the only limit we have on how we build our sustainable future is our minds. We need to consider any and all options of how we can connect our towns and cities together and do it in a way which cleans up the environment in the process. The re-opening of the rail-link, which passes through Culross, Torryburn and Kincardine, could open up a world of possibilities, which include having a direct link between Fife and Glasgow. A constant gripe for many Fifers is having to change at Edinburgh to get to Glasgow and the West of Scotland, choosing to take the car instead. The Scottish Government recently published its Rail Decarbonisation Recovery Plan, which included re-electrifying lines elsewhere in the central belt, but the West Fife route could be the missing piece in the puzzle for our green recovery as it will encourage people to get out of their cars and onto sustainable transport when travelling to and from Fife.

Zero-Emission Buses

On the same note, I have been very concerned recently about job losses in the bus manufacturing sector. You may have seen reports that Alexander Dennis (ADL), one of the most renowned bus manufacturers in Europe, based in Falkirk, is laying off large numbers of its workforce. This has an impact here in my constituency of Dunfermline and West Fife as a supplier to ADL is based here, Greenfold Systems, who I have met to discuss the impact on them. This has stemmed from a lack of UK Government support for the bus building industry. Back in February the Tories announced £3bn would be invested in zero-emission buses, but that money is still nowhere to be seen. This has left companies like ADL and Greenfold twiddling their thumbs waiting for the investment, plus were hit with the double-whammy of COVID-19. If the UK Government is serious about our green recovery then it would put its full backing behind these companies and invest in world-beating, zero carbon technologies to build a sustainable future across our transport networks.

Don’t risk Fife lockdown

I was very concerned to hear from the Fife Licensed Trade Association that some pubs and bars are not following guidance when it comes to social distancing and some are not taking customer details for track and trace. It is vital that we all follow the Scottish Government’s guidelines, because if one person lets the side down then we will all suffer the consequences. I do not want to see an Aberdeen-style lockdown here in Fife. Businesses cannot afford another setback from further lockdown, please comply with all the guidance brought out by the Scottish Government to keep everyone safe.'