blue badge holders have complained of a lack of information about parking within the pedestrianised area of Kirkcaldy High Street.
With the traffic ban for the area lifted from last week, disabled and delivery drivers have been allowed back in under the existing regulations – from 5.00 p.m. until noon every day and all day Tuesday.
However there were some chaotic scenes on several mornings last week and again this week, with motorists parking on both sides of the street blocking the way through for other vehicles, repairs still being carried out on the street, and cherry pickers putting up poles and strings for the festive lights as well as people removing vegetation from gutters in shops and houses.
Council staff were in the street last week giving out leaflets advising them where to park, and a sign has been put up at the entrance advising on the permitted hours, but Fife Disability Network and drivers told the Press this was not enough.
Jack Carr, acting chairman of the network, said: “Fife Council should have given drivers more notice that the street was re-opening in the first instance and more information about the restrictions – which side of the street they are allowed to park on, the hours etc. so there wouldn’t have been so much chaos.
“We are waiting to hear about another meeting with the Council’s transportation officials to talk about what is happening regarding more restrictions within the pedestrianised area, but we haven’t been given a date yet.”
Bill Harvey, co-ordinator with Kirkcaldy4All, the organisation promoting the town centre improvement, said he had noticed much more traffic in the street.
“We are aware of some concerns about traffic being allowed back into the High Street and we will be monitoring the situation.”
Margaret Dumbreck (74), a blue badge holder from Dysart contacted the Press saying she was very glad to be allowed back into the High Street.
“I hardly went down at all during the four months of the roadworks,” she explained. “It is great to have some independence back again, although I think there should have been something in the press in the lead up to the road re-opening again.
“I would like to see the permitted hours stay the same as I think Kirkcaldy has something to be proud of in allowing easy access for disabled people.”
Another disabled driver parked in the High Street on Tuesday said she only realised the road had re-opened to traffic after reading about it in last week’s Press.
Easier to park
“This is the first time I have been down since it was closed for the roadworks as I usually go up to the retail park where it is easier to park. It will help the High Street trade to bring more people back in.”
David Brown, transport planning officer with Fife Council, said: “We handed out leaflets to make sure people were aware these arrangements were back in place and so they knew where to park in the area.
“We are also going to meet with Shopmobility and representatives from disability groups this week as part of a Shopmobility open event.
“Discussions with businesses and disability groups on the long term access arrangements for the High Street are still ongoing at the moment.”