Developments like the Levenmouth link show the SNP is delivering for Scotland

Today marks the opening of the Levenmouth Rail link, a momentous day for the people who live in this part of Fife.

The new railway stations in Cameron Bridge and in Leven have been supported by investment of more than £116m from the SNP Scottish Government. They will be transformative for the people I represent – bringing educational opportunities, employment and investment to an area of Fife which, for far too long, was cut off from Scotland’s railway network.

Prior to my election back in 2016, I became involved in supporting the grassroots Levenmouth Railway Campaign. I want to pay tribute to them particularly today; were it not for their tenacity we would not be where we are today. I worked alongside them at too many meetings to count, we lobbied Labour-run Fife Council and I used every opportunity to put the case to our party in Government, as a backbench constituency MSP.

Indeed, as Humza Yousaf likes to remind me, the first meeting he granted as Transport Minister in 2016 was with the Levenmouth Rail Campaign and myself as constituency MSP. I thank him for the care he took then, listening to my constituents in putting forward the case for investment in our area. A year later, in responding to my parliamentary members’ debate on the same subject, it was Humza Yousaf who instructed the key next steps in the appraisal study. This action, two years’ later, would lead the Scottish Government to confirm their intention to support the Railway’s return to Levenmouth. Now five years later, I found myself on the first train out of Leven this morning, more than 55 years after the last train left the station.

It was a surreal moment as the train wove its way towards Cameron Bridge, tracing the River Leven as it did so, before moving on to Thornton and towards Kirkcaldy.

We met with local school pupils at Leven and at Cameron Bridge stations. For me they are the drivers of all that I do as an MSP – because we are all working in the SNP, for the cause we all believe in, to build a better Scotland.

Investing in infrastructure projects like Levenmouth creates better futures for our young people. Investing in free bus travel for the under 22s provides for better opportunities for our young people. Safeguarding free tuition protects education for those with the ability to learn – not a system based on the ability to pay.

Investing in the Levenmouth Railway is emblematic of the values we share in the SNP. Yet while we invest, Westminster takes away – with Austerity, Brexit and the cost of living crisis harming families the length and breadth of Scotland.

The Labour Party have already set out their commitment to stick to Tory spending plans, should they win the next UK election. There is little that separates Keir Starmer’s Labour from the Tories – both back Brexit, both back austerity, both won’t take the radical action needed to alleviate the cost of living crisis. We need decisions for Scotland to be taken in Scotland – so that we can fully deliver for all of Scotland’s communities.

The Levenmouth Rail Link will transform the lives of those I represent for the better. That is what you get when you vote for the Scottish National Party – you get a Party which listens to communities, which engages and which one which delivers.

Voting SNP in this General Election has never been more important – we are the only Party who will always put the interests of Scotland first. And as Leven’s constituency MSP I know exactly what that means in practice.