LAST week, ScotRail announced a temporary timetable due to industrial action by Network Rail members of the RMT union.

This resulted in the cancellation of 40 ScotRail services between Edinburgh and North Berwick on Thursday and Saturday, including all evening services returning from Edinburgh, as well as the cancellation of all ScotRail services between Dunbar and Edinburgh.

This is the third time rail services have been cancelled due to industrial action since ScotRail came into public ownership on April 1.

In the previous round of strikes, there were more than 130 driver vacancies which Scotland’s transport minister admitted would not be filled until after 2023.

While I appreciate many of these issues are outwith the control of the minister, East Lothian and Edinburgh are projected to be two of Scotland’s fastest growing areas, with more than 34,000 people expected to arrive into the area by 2028.

This will undoubtedly put a strain on our public transport network, which is already seen as unreliable.

I will therefore be meeting with the Scottish trans- port minister later in the year to discuss the possibility of increasing rail service provision for East Lothian, overcoming challenges across the network, and the possibility of reopening the railway line between Haddington and Edinburgh.

Given the substantial rise in population expected in East Lothian, the county has every right to expect adequate road and rail infrastructure, and that high-quality healthcare and schooling are not impacted by rising demand.

I am also hopeful that the minister will consider the widespread view within the Haddington community that the reopening of the railway line would be a real boost – and help cut carbon emissions in the county.