Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay’s announcement this week of rail travel inducements (“Jobseekers to get free travel to interviews, over 50s to get £5 intercity fare”, 29 March) seems a progressive step at first view.
However, those unemployed people living in large urban communities such as Levenmouth (37,500) will be further relatively disadvantaged by this move due to the absence of any direct rail links. They will be less able to compete.
Fife Council’s deputy leader, Lesley Laird, stated in a recent presentation that the reinstatement of trains from Thornton to Leven as part of Fife Circle services would effectively increase potential job vacancies by 500 per cent here by opening up commuting to work in the growing Edinburgh labour market.
An hourly rail link would also expand study opportunities for the neglected youth of Levenmouth.
The minister claims that the Scotrail franchise “should be an enabler for growth and an important contributor to communities up and down the country” – if so, the first priority needs to be to connect all major communities, such as Levenmouth, to the network.
We’re eagerly waiting to share in these perks.
(Dr) Allen Armstrong