Transportation

By Cllr. James Calder

It has been over 6 months now since I was elected as the Liberal Democrat Councillor for Dunfermline South and I have to say it has been very exciting for me. It has been enjoyable to represent the people of Dunfermline South and also to be helping to advance Liberal Values in the Council.

To recap at the election I was one of 7 Lib Dems elected to Fife Council, and the only Lib Dem elected in the West Fife area. As such, for me it has been important that I am carrying the weight of our area of Fife in the Party too.  I was also fortunate that my predecessor in Dunfermline South, Tony Martin, was an excellent Councillor, and I have been aiming to try and keep up his good work in the local area.

Within the Ward I have been working on a number of issues. As Dunfermline has been hit significantly in front-line cuts in staff for Parks, Streets and Open Spaces, I have been fighting for more funds for our Green areas and in particular for staffing, as many have asked me about this. I have also been working to improve the roads locally, and have had some notable successes, including in Fir Grove, the roundabout between Morrison Drive and Masterton Road and it now looks as though there will be resurfacing on Morrison Drive too. I am also seeking improvements to pavements, including within Pitcorthie and Abbeyview. Another issue I have been tackling recently has been Amazon lorries going through residential areas, and I am pleased to say that after discussions with Amazon they will be looking to put signage up both outside the warehouse and on the Motorway to redirect lorries away from the residential parts of town.

I would also like to add that much of these successes also depended on the help and assistance of the local Community Councils, and it has been a pleasure to have been attending them.

Outside of the wonderful job of improving Dunfermline South and Dunfermline as a whole, I have also been fortunate in being made the Fife Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson. In this role I have been taking on a number of issues. I have helped to ensure that children at Masterton Primary continue to go to school in their city of Dunfermline. I have been challenging the Council Administration on teacher numbers, and the Scottish Government on the fact that Fife receives a lower share of Scottish Attainment Challenge Funding than I believe it should be. One of my key successes was getting the Council Administration to agree into looking to make the School Uniform grant for children with lower income backgrounds higher, as in Fife we are both below the Scottish Average and the Scottish Government recommendations.

Overall it has been an exciting time, and I would like to thank the hard work of everyone else who has made this possible, including the local Liberal Democrat team. I will continue to work my hardest as a local Liberal Democrat Councillor.

Dunfermline South bad state streets

James Calder observing the bad state of the streets of the Dunfermline South ward

After years of inaction by the Labour Fife Council administration, James Calder is sharing the frustrations of local residents in Dunfermline South over the state of our roads and pavements.
James Calder has said,

Tony Martin has done a great job in battling to get some of our roads resurfaced, but despite this some areas are neglected.

Enough is enough! This is damaging cars, and is unsafe for elderly and disabled people. Too many people are injured and too many cars are damaged. I will push Fife Council into resolving this.

Aude Boubaker-Calder wants to see better bus services

Many villagers in West Fife would like to see improved bus connectivity in their area, and Lib Dem candidate Aude Boubaker-Calder is calling for this to be made a priority by Fife Council.

Aude has said,

Many people rely on public transport in the villages, especially the elderly. However all too often the services are infrequent or do not go to where people want.

I’d like to see Fife Council do more to ensure that bus services benefit everyone and are made a priority. After all, not only does this improve transport links but will make a better environment if less people take their cars.

James Calder wants to see the Queensferry Crossing Completed

It has been announced that there will be another delay to the Queensferry Crossing. Originally meant to be finished at the end of last year, then in May, it looks set to be delayed further. Local Dunfermline South Council Candidate James Calder has expressed suprise and concern at this development.

James Calder has said,

Last year the SNP Government were unable to explain why there was a 5 month delay to building the Queensferry Crossing caused by 25 days of bad weather, yet the same reasons are being made again. Naturally I understand the importance of ensuring the safety of Bridge workers first, but I want to see more transparency from the Government.

After the damaging closure of the Forth Road Bridge in the winter of 2015, it is imperative for Fifers that the new Bridge is put in place to avoid this happening again. We need answers from the Scottish Government on why this is taking so long and for how long they have known about this further delay.

Before and After

Liberal Democrat Bryn Jones has been hard at work getting potholes filled and graffiti cleared up in Dunfermline North.

Bryn said, “Potholes are a nuisance to pedestrians alike. On pavements especially they caused huge problems for people with mobility issues.”

One Dunfermline North resident had trouble walking on Townhill Road due to a large pothole on the pavement, as she was using crutches following surgery. She reported this to Bryn who chased the council to get the hole filled. You can contact Bryn to report your own issues by emailing him at BrynRichardJones@gmail.com

James wants better bus provision in West Fife

James wants better bus provision in West Fife

James Calder has been both speaking and listening to constituents, and one of the concerns that have been raised is the poor level of provision of bus services in West Fife. James wants to see more bus services each day in a number of areas as well as new bus services to better connect the towns and villages of West Fife together.

James has commented, “One of the things I want to promote is higher use of low carbon transport, and this means having public transport available to all. However at the moment we have the situation where people have to either use their cars, take a number of buses that takes a considerable amount of time or even effectively stranded if they are elderly without adequate bus provision.

“I am calling Fife Council to work with local bus companies to ensure we have better provision of bus services and so everyone can use them. It is not right that if someone lives in a village such as Crombie and has to take the bus to work in Rosyth Dockyard that their journey times are considerable due to no direct bus services.”

James at Dunfermline Town Train Station

James at Dunfermline Town Train Station

With Scotland not meeting its climate change targets, James Calder is calling for more to be done in Fife to ensure we have cleaner air and cleaner transport. This includes a commitment to public transport, expansion of provision for electric vehicles and encouraging active travel.

James has commented, “Certain areas of Fife do have pollution problems, and we also need to look at the big picture worldwide and face up to our climate change obligations. There are a few easy ways that we can make big changes.

“More can be done to encourage the use of public transport and make it more appealing. We saw how crucial the rail service was when the Forth Road Bridge was closed. I call on the Scottish Government to work on making public transport easier and better by speeding up rail services and phasing in contactless payment systems.

“We can also do more to improve infrastructure locally for electric vehicles as well as increasing the share of the transport budget to make it safer and easier to take part in active transport such as cycling and walking.”

forthbridge

West Fifers were hit by the disastrous Forth Road Bridge closure last December. Scottish Lib Dem candidate James Calder is calling for the Scottish Government to ensure that local businesses are properly compensated and that all of the bridges over the Forth are properly funded and maintained.

James has said, “It’s not enough to push under the carpet the issue of the Forth Road Bridge. We cannot afford to have a repeat in the future, including when the Queensferry Crossing is completed. Lessons must be learned and maintenance funding should be enough the Forth Bridges.

“We also need to make sure all businesses in Fife that have been hit by this are properly compensated. If elected I will continuously work to ensure the Bridges are given the support they need.”

Matthew Hall at the Forth Bridge

Matthew Hall at the Forth Bridge

In July 2015, the Forth Bridge was declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations body UNESCO.

Matthew commented ‘The awarding of World Heritage status to the Forth Bridge is a fantastic way to mark the 125th anniversary of this incredible feat of engineering. It is something that we can all be proud of and should encourage more tourism to the area which will help to support our local businesses and economy. However, with limited parking nearby and the high volume of road works and construction taking place at the moment, it is important that the council makes sure that this fantastic achievement does not become a burden for local residents.

‘If elected, I would campaign to ensure that the local community fully benefits from the tourism boost that this unique opportunity should bring but will make sure that residents are at the forefront of any planning decisions made by Fife Council – especially in relation to road works and parking.’

Matthew Hall with Willie Rennie

Matthew Hall with Willie Rennie

This year, Fife Council launched their “Air Quality Strategy for Fife 2015-2020” which outlines the council’s plans for protecting and improving air quality throughout the region.

Matthew stated ‘I am very pleased to see that Fife Council is serious about protecting the local environment and the health of residents through managing and monitoring air quality in the region. As the people of Rosyth and North Queensferry know though, the ever-increasing traffic and heavy construction means that local air quality can be very poor.

‘If I were to be elected this November, I would be committed to ensuring that the council follows through with their pledges on improving air quality. With local schools situated next to busy roads, it is more important than ever to make sure that our young people and families can live in an area with clean air and low pollution.’