DOUGLAS CHAPMAN said Fife Council must overturn the decision to charge commuters at the park and rides at Halbeath and Ferrytoll.

The Dunfermline and West Fife MP said environmentally-friendly West Fifers would be “penalised” by the move, which he fears could scupper plans for a new £6.4 million facility next to the railway station in Rosyth.

The council announced in last month’s budget that motorists will have to pay £1 a day to leave their cars at either site.

Mr Chapman said: “Whatever their political persuasion, I hope all councillors will revisit this decision as quickly as possible and reach the conclusion that, while it may raise extra revenue in the short term, in support of long-term environment and transport policy it is simply the wrong call.”

The cash-strapped council said they faced “significant budget shortfalls” and tough decisions had to be made.

The MP said: “I know that in joint council administrations there has to be a bit of political horse-trading to be done on the budget but I have to protect the interests of my constituents who use Halbeath and Ferrytoll park and ride car parks.

“I am also supporting the Scottish Government’s ambitious climate change targets and to reach these targets we need more people to reduce use of their cars and encourage more of them to turn to safe, efficient, public transport.

“The bus services from Halbeath and Ferrytoll are very good but there should be no disincentive for members of the public to make that shift in behaviour from car to bus.”

He continued: “Fife now has access to a dedicated public transport lane via the Forth Road Bridge and I want to see that being used by busy buses.

“Considerable investment has been made in that public transport corridor and I feel nothing should be done that undermines the real value of that investment as it supports people who want to put the environment first and be good citizens by leaving their car behind.

"That positive shift in behaviour should not be penalised.”

He said he had written to the council to ask what consultation had taken place and when, given there may be extra costs involved, the plan would reach a break-even point.

Mr Chapman added: “If we see a drop in numbers at Halbeath and Ferrytoll, due to the proposed charging regime, that makes Rosyth less deliverable as it will not be built unless these two existing park and rides are running at capacity.”

As the Press reported last week, Stagecoach are also against the charges and said they had “real concerns over what appear to be short-sighted proposals to introduce a parking charge at the park and ride sites”.

They added: “As we’ve seen elsewhere, this kind of charging scheme will hit regular commuters hard, potentially resulting in less people using the facilities and higher car use, contributing to even worse traffic congestion on our roads.”

Council co-leader, SNP councillor David Alexander, said: “We have to gain income from other sources. We cannot be left every year waiting to see the impact of cuts from Westminster.

“The park and rides cost us £350,000 to operate. We cannot continue to subsidise this. A small charge is not unreasonable.”

The council’s proposed park and choose at Rosyth received planning permission in 2013 but lack of funding meant work has never started.