WEST FIFE politicians have backed the Press call for a midnight train service back to Fife from Edinburgh on Fridays and Saturdays.

Three weeks ago, we launched our Midnight Train campaign to stand up for West Fifers whose only current rail option is 11.20pm when getting home from a night in Edinburgh.

It’s hitting our economy here in West Fife too – a midnight train would bring extra hotel bookings which could lead subsequently to a boost in the local tourist economy, according to tourism bosses.

Those behind Dunfermline’s recent successful five-day Outwith Festival have also called for better public transport links between here and Edinburgh to boost Dunfermline’s growing arts scene.

Now, our politicians are all on board the Press campaign.

Annabelle Ewing MSP, MSP for Cowdenbeath said: “I am right behind the campaign for a midnight train from Edinburgh to Cowdenbeath.

"The current last train is frustratingly early for those from Fife attending all sorts of events in the capital and I think that the experience during the Festival when a later train was run on a temporary basis will have shown the operators that there would be a genuine demand for this timetable change on a year-round basis.”

Claire Baker MSP said: “We already know that commuters in Fife get short-changed when it comes to their train services and that has to change.

"Fifers deserve to be able to head to Edinburgh to see a show and gig or go out with friends or work colleagues and not constantly be checking their watches to cut the night short and make the last train home.

"When it is the festival or there are big occasions taking place in the capital, ScotRail is able to put on later and longer trains. I see no reason why this can’t happen all year round.

"That is why I am fully backing the Dunfermline Press’ Midnight Train campaign. ScotRail must listen to the wishes of their customers.”

Dunfermline MSP, Shirley-Anne Somerville added: “Having been in the position of rushing for the last train myself, I can understand why people in Dunfermline and West Fife would want to see this type of service.

"I will certainly follow the matter up with ScotRail and encourage them to explore every opportunity to see if this can be delivered.”

Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: “I’m right behind the Midnight Train campaign – ScotRail regularly puts on later services during the Edinburgh Festival, which are always popular with local people looking for a later night out in the city.

"Anyone who’s been on an 11.20pm train back to the town will know how busy these services are at the weekend, and a later train will help ease that late-night rush.

"The new coaches and trains coming into service across Scotland should be used, not only to ease rush hour crushes, but to also extend the hours of service in West Fife and give local people the same level of services other parts of the country enjoy.”

Alexander Stewart MSP said: “A late train service to and from West Fife should be supported in principle, however, it may be appropriate in the first instance to introduce a pilot scheme, thus enabling its evaluation in practice.

"As many of us know, at times of highest demand such as the Edinburgh Festival, Christmas and New Year; accommodation in Edinburgh and many areas south of the River Forth are at capacity, so this could easily widen Edinburgh’s footprint into the Kingdom and could only be of benefit to the many hotel and guest house businesses around Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay, especially.”