'Fife central to building the best railway Scotland has ever had' - ScotRail Alliance

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Fife is central to the ScotRail Alliance’s plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had, Alex Hynes said today.

Speaking at a meeting attended by Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf and a cross-party group of Fife MSPs, the ScotRail Alliance managing director said that recent performance in Fife has improved following a challenging few months.

Mr Hynes highlighted the following:

  • The level of skip-stopping on the Fife Circle has fallen by 63 per cent in recent months. The ScotRail Alliance is committed to only using this practice as a very last resort.

  • More than 90 per cent of trains on the Fife Circle currently meet their target time, compared to 79 per cent during the most challenging month last year.

  • In 2019, ScotRail will provide an extra 5,000 seats per day for services in Fife – with more services operating with six carriages.

  • A promotional fare – the ‘Fife Fiver’ – is being introduced from 16 April until 15 June. This will be an off-peak day return £5 fare, for travel from Fife to Edinburgh and Dundee. Further details about how to purchase this ticket will be published in the coming weeks.

  • ScotRail is reviewing the timetable for Fife, to provide a better balance of services operating in the area. While this won’t result in additional services, it will ensure that the timetable better suits the needs of customers in Fife. Any changes from the review are expected to come into effect from the middle of next year.

ScotRail Alliance Managing Director Alex Hynes said:

“We’re grateful to Fife’s MSPs for taking the time to meet with us today, and for sharing the experiences of their constituents. We assured them that Fife is central to our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

“We know some of our customers in Fife have been frustrated by the service they have received from us in recent months. We understand that, which is why we are doing everything we can to improve things. The work we are doing is already paying off, with more trains running on time and fewer stations being missed compared to the most challenging weeks last year.

“But we know there is more to do. That’s why we are introducing a promotional off-peak fare - the ‘Fife Fiver’ - to make it cheaper for customers travelling to Edinburgh and Dundee from Fife over the next few months. Next year we will also introduce an extra 5,000 seats per day for services in Fife, which will result in more comfortable journeys for our customers.”

Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said:

“I have said many times recently that ScotRail performance is not where it should be and passengers deserve better. This meeting with Fife MSPs has been a welcome opportunity for a frank discussion, not only about where things have gone wrong but also about what passengers in the region can expect to see going forward. The 63% reduction in skip-stopping and promotional fare will be welcome news; ScotRail must build on this and have outlined their commitment to do so .

“The ongoing independent Donavan review will look closely at improving performance. Once the findings are known shortly, I will take the opportunity to look at the recommended steps and how this information is made publicly available.”