A FRESH call has been made to get proposals for the re-opening of the rail line between Alloa and Fife back on track.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman has requested a meeting with Scotland's transport minister in a bid to see progress made on re-establishing the link.

In his letter to Graeme Dey MSP, he said there was a "clear interest both from the public and private enterprise" in the reopening of the West Fife line.

"Given we have just had an election and the Scottish Parliament has commenced a new term, I believe we have an opportunity to get the West Fife rail line pushed further up the agenda and make real progress to join up rail in Fife and Alloa – Dunfermline remains the only missing link," he said.

Last year, Network Rail announced it was looking to enhance rail links between Clackmannanshire and Fife by potentially electrifying and reinstating passenger services between Alloa and Longannet.

The organisation also submitted a request recently for an Environmental Impact Assessment for a proposed railway station on land south of Broomknowe, Kincardine.

Mr Chapman added: "In the year of COP26 and our national drive towards net zero, it's vital that efforts are made to seize all available opportunities to expand our rail network and encourage more people out of their cars.

"Work is clearly underway to potentially re-open the line between Alloa and Longannet, but to stop there would be a huge missed opportunity.

"The potential economic and environmental benefits to people in the West Fife villages and into Dunfermline that would be unlocked by fully re-opening the rail line to passengers, and the impact on their lives, could be significant – as well as boost such things as tourism.

"Receiving the support of the new Minister for Transport would be encouraging to all those who want to see a line re-established."

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said the proposal was still under consideration.

"The publication of the budget, Infrastructure Investment Plan and STPR2 Phase 1 earlier this year set out the strategic context of the next five years of rail investment. Further projects including the Dunfermline-Alloa route are now being considered in Phase 2 of STPR2, due to report in the autumn and thereafter to be published for formal public consultation," said the spokesperson.

"At this time, Covid-19 continues to cause uncertainty on future transport trends and people's behaviours, and work and lifestyle choices. Therefore, it is appropriate that we have prioritised those projects with the most immediate benefits.

"Further proposals for any project being progressed will need to meet our ambitious decarbonisation and modal shift targets, once we better understand the impacts of Covid-19 on work patterns and public transport use."