Commuters get chance to grill rail bosses
DALGETY BAY commuters have the chance to grill rail bosses over the state of West Fife train services at a public meeting this Tuesday.
The customer forum offers commuters an opportunity to talk directly with the train operator's senior management team.
Earlier this year rail users were left outraged after the 7.54am service from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh, which served Aberdour, Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing, 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.
Pressure from the public and politicians forced Scotrail into a rethink and the rail company eventually agreed to introduce a re-timed service that arrived in Edinburgh 10 minutes earlier.
However, Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor Gavin Yates, who started the Fairness for Fife Commuters campaign, demanded more from the rail provider.
He said, "Our campaign was effective in bringing an earlier service onstream but we still have one service fewer than we did in December 2011.
"I want to see a new morning service resumed when the next timetable changes come in.
"Only then will we see an end to the sardine service that we currently have to put up with."
Now commuters have the opportunity to get answers from rail chiefs face-to-face.
ScotRail's managing director Steve Montgomery said, "Customer feedback is extremely important to us and vital to delivering consistently high service and continually improving standards.
"This meeting will give us an opportunity to hear any suggestions or concerns as well as providing the chance for us to outline our plans for improvements over the coming months."
The forum will be held at the Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, The Wynd, Dalgety Bay, beginning at 6.30pm. Light refreshments will be available from 6pm.
Space is subject to availability and customers wishing to attend are asked to register before tomorrow (Friday) by calling 0141 3354391 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 21, 12:09
Sep 21, 13:00
Frankly, I find it rather infuriating that the Dunfermline Press has not only published this story, but illustrated it with a busy DUNFERMLINE Town station platform, rather than the lesser-used Dalgety Bay station (DB has fewer than half the number of passengers as Dunfermline Town).
There was indeed outrage from the politicians who represent the constituencies in Fife and across the whole region when ScotRail announced this change - but even when it was pointed out that even without this train, the coastal stations *still* had a better service than Dunfermline stations, they raised it at the highest level, and refused to represent Dunfermline's issues with ScotRail. I can only assume that this is because it's a service that those very same politicians use... I can of course fully understand why Gavin Yates is representing his ward constituents, but to call it 'Fairness for *Fife* Commuters' is grossly misleading - by demanding further improvements for Dalgety Bay, he is supporting maintaining and worsening an unfair situation for other Fife commuters!
This isn't actually about 'West Fife' at all - because the non-coastal stations in West Fife have a far worse service both at peak times, and especially on Sunday. Did you know, for example, that Kirkcaldy has four times as many trains to Edinburgh on Sunday, despite similar passenger numbers as the two Dunfermline stations? Even Alloa and Dingwall have a more frequent service to Glasgow & Inverness respectively - Dunfermline has one of the worst Sunday services in the whole of Scotland, and still lacks an equitable peak service as well. Why isn't the DUNFERMLINE Press discussing this? Why is the 'Fairness for Fife Commuters' campaign not discussing the crowded and erratically-timed Dunfermline & Rosyth services?
I'm all for improving rail services, but please ensure some of us don't get left even further behind...
Recommend? Yes 26 No 3
Sep 25, 11:21
Hmm - although some valid points Woodmill, the facts are that the Fife loop is an add on to the main east coast line, hence far more trains travelling to and from the cities of Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen etc. Persons factor this in when deciding where to live - if you depend on the rail service to get you to work, you're going to have a better service in Aberdour, Dalgety Bay or Inverkiething, than Rosyth, Dunfermline or Cowdenbeath! Don't get me wrong, the service on the Fife loop should be improved, but you can't really compare a motorway with a "B" road, as you are with the Fife loop and The Main East Coast line?
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1
Sep 25, 18:13
The Fife circle is long overdue for electrification as a principal outer-suburban service to/from Edinburgh - but as Stirling-Dunblane/Alloa were wantonly stricken from the EGIP scheme - I'm not holding my breath!
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1
Sep 27, 14:31
May I just reply to MrsScottsWeeLaddie?
Actually, historically, the line via Dunfermline is only a 'loop' because that is the way that British Rail decided to make it so in the 1970s – it could quite easily have been the coastal line that was the loop to a main line via Dunfermline. Why was this? I don't know - perhaps they liked the view. The line from Dunfermline northwards (built as the line from Stirling but which is now mostly gone between there & Dunfermline) pre-dates the coastal route and was built as an express line - it is quite emphatically, not an 'add-on' - the coastal route is! The line from Inverkeithing to Dunfermline was the first part of the main express route to Perth and Inverness from 1890, until BR closed the Kinross section in 1970. In short, the coastal route is not any better, physically, than the former express lines via Dunfermline - the loop is an entirely modern timetabling invention. Both lines are about the same distance (19 miles inland compared to 17.5 coastal – i.e. about a minute in express train times), both were originally constructed as dual-track express lines, although perhaps in recent years signalling has been improved on the coastal route. As far as I know, there is nothing to stop longer distance trains running via Dunfermline instead of them ALL going via the coast - indeed they do exactly that if the coastal route is closed for any reason. Some of the express trains from Dundee or Perth that currently stop at only Kirkcaldy and Inverkeithing could quite easily stop at Dunfermline and Inverkeithing instead, with virtually no increase in journey times for long-distance travellers. Imagine that - express trains from Dunfermline to Edinburgh! Why is it that Kirkcaldy gets all the express services?
So, I am not comparing a motorway with a B road, I would only be doing that if I were comparing, say, High Speed One with the West Highland Line (a single-track with steep gradients). I am comparing almost identical railway lines that happen to treated differently only in terms of timetabling. Timetables can be easily changed, if politicians and Transport Scotland had the will to make it so.
Oh, and hazelkaye is spot on - the fife circle should be electrified. But given the re-prioritisation of transport funding by the Scottish Government, that's probably never going to happen now.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0