Victory for West Fife commuters in battle to keep rail service
Published 16 Mar 2012 08:35 11 Comments
A VITAL morning rush-hour commuter link for West Fife rail users is set to be restored from July after a high-profile campaign.
The 0754 service from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh which served Aberdour, Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing commuters was cancelled in December.
This created travel difficulties for workers trying to get to the capital for a 9am start and led to "sardine" conditions on other trains.
Credit for the ScotRail re-think was claimed both by the Labour Party, who campaigned for the service's return, and transport minister Keith Brown, who said he had stepped in to resolve the matter.
Mr Brown said, "I am pleased to be able to announce that we have reached a likely solution to this problem.
"We in the Scottish Government are doing all we can to encourage more people to use the train with all the benefits that entails - less congestion on the roads, a reduction in carbon emissions and increased job and investment opportunities.
"It is hugely important for us to see that everything is done to ensure the train is a practical and attractive option for people.
"This is a true example of how partnership working can help realise real benefits and ScotRail are to be commended for the work they have done to come up with a solution."
Gavin Yates, who started the Fairness for Fife Commuters campaign, said, "This is a great result for all those who worked together as part of the campaign.
"Members of the group wrote to ScotRail, Network Rail, the transport minister and their elected representatives and garnered support from across Scotland.
"I hope that the service is back in action as soon as possible as commuters in Fife deserve better services."
Labour MSP Claire Baker said, "This service should never have been removed in the first place and I would really like to see the train back in service before the summer as I know the distress this cancellation has caused.
"As a regular train user I know first-hand the effect of the removal of this service and I welcome the change of heart by ScotRail after a great campaign across Fife."
Her colleague, Helen Eadie MSP, said, "Fife commuters have been jammed on to the 'sardine express' as they have dubbed it for too long but people power has eventually won the day.
"I am disappointed that the service will not be resumed immediately but it's a step in the right direction."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 16, 10:17
Mar 16, 13:31
Maybe now Fife Council will do something about the chronic parking shortage at Inverkeithing Station. There's no point in these improvements to the rail services from there if commuters cannot park their cars after 8am.
And before the Council responds with the new Halbeath park-and-ride, may I just remind them that the Ferrytoll park-and-ride has been in operation for 10 years-or-so, but it's car-park is never full. Where as the Inverkeithing car-parks have been filled to over-flowing for years.
Maybe the DP might like to challenge our Councillors on that matter as part of the forth-coming elections?
Recommend? Yes 19 No 0
Mar 16, 13:54
The council will not do something about Inverkeithing parking for the simple reason that extending a car park to meet a defined and genuine need is different to engaging in some hugely expensive vanity project upon which councillors and MSPs can pump out acres of vile PR
Recommend? Yes 19 No 1
Mar 18, 22:15
YET Ferrytoll HAS been doubled in size! Maybe the council should help proivde better bus links to the train station so passengers could just jump on a bus, then jump on a train. That would solve many of the parking issues!
Recommend? Yes 12 No 0
Mar 18, 22:20
Has anyone else notice that it does not fully explain what happening in July? will that train now stop at the stations? will an extra train operate? will we end up with another 1960's Diesel express? To transport minister Keith Brown, YOU should have stepped before this mess started in the first place... not 6months later!
Recommend? Yes 4 No 5
Mar 19, 18:53
FERRYTOLL should have been built nearer Inverkeithing to provide a rail as well and bus interchange!
No chance of a rail station at Ferrytoll with the railway high above on the Jamestown viaduct!
Recommend? Yes 7 No 0
Mar 20, 01:42
Mikeintheknow.. 1960's Diesel express??? The 67 on its side is not the year it was built...(class 67.. 10 years old) As for the parking.. Anyone thought about walking? The summer is coming up after all. Or better still move to Edinburgh and give the houses back to the locals who bother to spend money in the town.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 8
Mar 22, 16:41
There are regular services from the ferrytoll to inverkeithing station but thats an added cost to the commute to work. The daily commute is getting more and more expensive and the train conditions are rubbish! Inverkeithing station is jam packed in the morning and chances of getting a seat are non existent and by cancelling services it makes the conditions worse!
As for the comment regarding moving to Edinburgh and giving the houses back to the locals, that sounds a bit like small town thinking, there are plenty of houses in Fife at the moment with more and more popping up all the time!
Recommend? Yes 5 No 0
Mar 22, 18:09
...Also, most of the locals don't have jobs to spend money in their own town.
The 747 bus goes between Ferrytoll and Inverkeithing station every 10 mins, and the car parks are being extended next to the Maltings flats . A multi-story in the Belleknowes Industrial Estate would serve the station better though.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 0
Apr 5, 09:21
In answer to the comment about lack of detail, my understanding is as follows. There will be NO additional service starting in July. There will be some relatively minor changes to services between Dundee/Perth and Edinburgh (affecting timings at Kirkcaldy for 2 services) in order to allow an all-station, Dundee-Edinburgh service to run approx. 15 minutes earlier. This all-station service will now leave Kirkcaldy, if I mind right, at 0756 and, thus, will run more-or-less in the same "slot" that the 0754 used to run in. However, it will NOT commence at Kirkcaldy and, thus, will already be quite well patronised by the time it reaches it. And, of course, it will no longer provide the all-station service it used to, about 15 minutes later (and a shade too late to get to Edinburgh for a 0900 start). This may well have a "knock-on" effect of causing inconvenience to those wishing to reach the Inverkeithing/South Gyle area for 0900, or the Edinburgh area for 0930.
In short, this is not really a "victory", as the "new" service (a) will be more crowded than the old 0754 was and (b) will run INSTEAD OF a later service. My feeling is that a proper restoration of service should still be fought for.
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0
Apr 11, 21:54
Interesting comments, however, I too am a fan of an auxilliary train stop at Ferrytoll - why not?
The proposal for using the 747 back and forth to the train station isnt ideal, you just have to miss the service and before you know it you are 20 mins late for work as you have prob missed a train in between the services too.
We all know someone in authority didnt have nuance to site the P&R at the north end of Inverkeithing (could have been accessed from Masterton junction).
The point about them being a joint facility would have been if there was a road or rail issue, the one is easily accessible.
I live in the Bay (as you may have guessed) and use the station there, however, coming home, 90% of the time I end up having to get a train to Inverkeithing then walking to the bay as quicker than waiting around the extra time for a train to the Bay.
To me Inverkeithing P&R was a wasted opportunity and the town deserved better.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0