A Kirkcaldy shortcut we need to sort

Cllr Kathleen Leslie at the affected area (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)
Cllr Kathleen Leslie at the affected area (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

A councillor and a community group have called for action as high school pupils continue to use a shortcut – and leave their litter behind.

The concerns come from Councillor Kathleen Leslie and Invertiel Tenants and Residents Association over Balwearie pupils using the Invertiel viaduct and woodland walkway as a shortcut at lunchtime to reach Morrisons.

There was previously no fence at the perimeter of the school so pupils used the viaduct and walkway to cut through the woods to the supermarket for lunch.

A newly constructed fence was supposed to solve the problem – but proved to be too short, and the pupils are still able to use the route.

Cllr Leslie said she was concerned with both the amount of litter being dropped – and pupils’ safety.

“There are a number of issues,” she said, “the first being that the construction of the long-awaited fence to prevent pupils having access under the viaduct, is too short and pupils continue to use the route.

“The fence is metal and has dangerous spikes along the top, which is quite shocking considering the area is being frequented by pupils, I really have to wonder if any thought was given to the potential hazard of this.

“The embankment is steep and uneven, and to have not properly constructed the fence to cut off access completely is quite unbelievable.”

Invertiel Tenants and Residents Association has invited Neil McNeil, school rector, to attend its next meeting.

A spokesman said: “We have been actively seeking a solution to the problems. We were pro-active in contacting the school back in February to see if a mutual solution could be found.”

Cllr Leslie is currently attempting to establish who gave the go-ahead for the fence and why the area was not cleared before it was put up.

“I shall be taking the matter up with Fife Council,” she said, “quite frankly, it’s unacceptable.

“No thought was given to clean the area which is littered with plastic bottles, empty crisp bags and sandwich boxes. None of this was cleared prior to putting the fence in place.”

Mr McNeil says he will be attending the meeting to discuss the situation.

He said: “I am well aware of the concerns regarding this matter.

“I am happy to meet with the association as it is important that we engage with the community.”