Change planned for parking charges in Kirkcaldy

Parking both sides of the pedestrianised zone of the High Street, Kirkcaldy
Parking both sides of the pedestrianised zone of the High Street, Kirkcaldy

It’s all change on the parking front for Kirkcaldy town centre with a number of new measures about to come into place

Fife Council is proposing to introduce Sunday parking charges, and has also introduced a rise in general charges, which comes into effect in some areas on Monday.

Cars backed up in the pedestrianised zone of Kirkcaldy High Street

Cars backed up in the pedestrianised zone of Kirkcaldy High Street

And from tomorrow (Friday) the traffic chaos on the High Street will finally be tackled as the new Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is implemented.

Sunday parking has been put forward as a Fife-wide measure to help reduce the council’s funding gap. It would affect onand off-street parking.

Fifers have until July 1 to object to the proposal.

Councillor Pat Callaghan, spokesman for environment and transport, said: “These proposed charges are set to save £249,000 by 2018/19.”

New parking signs in pedestrianised zone of High Street, Kirkcaldy

New parking signs in pedestrianised zone of High Street, Kirkcaldy

The increase in general charges will take place from Monday. Anyone parking in the High Street, Whytescauseway and Hunter Street will pay 60p for half an hour or £1.10 for an hour.

But all other parking costs will remain the same until next March at least, thanks to Kirkcaldy4All’s pilot trial.

“In recent years, parking tariffs have been frozen at 2011 levels to encourage people to visit town centres,” Cllr Callaghan said.

“With the increased costs of managing and maintaining car parks, a Fife-wide tariff increase for both on and off-street parking is now required.

“Unfortunately, we are in a position where we need to save around £91m over the next three years, and tough decisions must be made.”

Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, said he was “disappointed” with the increase.

“I know the council has faced cuts to its budget but I would have preferred that they looked elsewhere.

“However I’m glad that our parking trial is continuing in most of Kirkcaldy’s town centre car parking areas and I would encourage people to continue to utilise that.”

The High Street TRO, which finally saw Fife Council take over responsibilty for parking within the pedestrianised zone from Police Scotland, can now begin to be implemented.

New signs have been installed, letting disabled and commercial vehicle drivers know where and when they can park.

It does not change the current access times for blue badge holders and commercial vehicles.

Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “These restrictions aren’t new. It’s about making sure that people know about them and so that they can be enforced.”

“Hopefully it will also mean that the High Street will begin to flow more freely.

‘‘Access will be protected for those who need it and pedestrians will feel safer.

“The signs will help let drivers of permitted vehicles know where they can park, load or unload, and where they can’t.”