£1.6m bid to relieve congestion in Cupar

ATS garage, Cupar.
ATS garage, Cupar.

CUPAR’S long-awaited £1.6 million traffic revamp is set to begin in August.

The work is expected to last seven months — and council transport chiefs hope it will solve the town’s congestion problems.

Plans include:

Widening the junction at the east end of St Catherine Street following the demolition of the ATS and Paterson Bell buildings.

Giving priority to east/west traffic flow along the A91, with side roads giving way.

Removing the traffic lights at the Cross, the War Memorial and East Burnside.

Controlling the traffic at peak times with ‘intelligent’ pedestrian crossings away from the junctions — lights will be green by default but can be pre-programmed to relieve congestion at rush hours or can be allowed to react to build-ups using sensors.

Moving the Mercat Cross further down the Crossgate on to a raised platform featuring ‘up-lighting’.

At an information meeting for community representatives held in County Buildings, chair Councillor Andrew Arbuckle said: “This is a meeting that has been a long time coming and has long been looked forward to.

“But that has not been for a lack of effort on the part of Fife Council.”

Angus Carmichael, the council’s projects team leader, added: “This all goes back to about 1996, when Fife Regional Council was becoming Fife Council.

“Back then we installed traffic lights right through Cupar, and clearly it didn’t work.

“Since that time there have been continued problems with the flow of traffic through the town, as well as pollution in the Bonnygate.

“This scheme should address not only the traffic flow but also the problem of pollution.”

The project was approved by councillors at last Wednesday’s meeting of the north east Fife area committee and will now be passed on to the Scottish Government for rubber stamping.

Displays and information boards on the Cupar traffic project will shortly be going up on the ground floor of County Buildings for members of the public to view.

In addition, council staff involved with the project will be on hand from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm on 8pm on Thursday, March 8, to answer any questions.