Kirkcaldy pool parking sparks war of words and a petition

The thorny issue of parking around the town’s leisure centre has sparked a war of words - and an appeal for a resolution.

The thorny issue of parking around the town’s leisure centre has sparked a war of words - and an appeal for a resolution.

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

The £15m centre was opened with minimal parking facilities after the closure of Tolbooth street to accommodate the building.

And visitors abandoning cars around it and along the waterfront are causing major problems.

Last week, David Torrance MSP put forward a proposal for parking on the Esplanade - sparking a response from Councillor Neil Crooks, who said it had already been considered by Kirkcaldy area committee.

He said a feasibility study had been carried out, and it needed £500,000 to make it happen - and with council cutbacks, that funding 
wasn’t available.

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

Cllr Crooks, committee chairman, said solutions had been looked at since 2012 when he took over the posiiton.

He said: “One solution was using one lane of the dual carriageway for parking and doubling up on the other lane creating two-way traffic flow.

“This was unworkable as the carriageway was not wide enough for people to exit and enter their parked cars safely.

“The committee then funded a feasibility study which came up with proposals which would remove the dual carriageway and replace almost all of the spaces lost when the leisure centre was built. That plan could be implemented but requires £500k investment. I am asking for that funding but my chances are slim at the moment for reasons Mr Torrance should hopefully be aware of.”

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

The parking issue was described as “emotive” by Bill Harvey, BID manager at Kirkcaldy4All - but he too wants to see it resolved.

He said: “The footfall that is using the leisure centre could be a massive boost to retailers in and around the town centre,” he said. “However the issues with parking would appear to discourage a lot of people from using the facilities and the 
town centre.

“I’m pleased that this problem with the parking has been brought to the fore and look forward to a speedy, successful resolution. I appreciate that it is an emotive subject and it may take some and it may take some time to get a complete and satisfactory resolution.”

Mr Torrance insisted that with funding an issue, a simple solution to the problem 
was required.

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

Parking outside Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

He proposede bays at a 45 degree angle along the front, allowing cars to reverse out onto the road, adding: “They have this at the shops at Templehall and it works well.

Cllr Crooks said it was “unworkable” as the carriageway was not wide enough for people to exit and enter their parked cars safely.

A survey carried out among centre users in January last year led to Fife Council opening the Esplanade multi-storey lower ground floor car park in weekday evenings free of charge - but parking still remains a problem.

A council spokesman said ‘no waiting at any time’ restriction on the service road around the centre had been imposed, adding: “This aims to reduce the number of vehicles parking on the road and should result in reduced congestion and improved access for leisure centre customers.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said he was “aware the problem was being discussed at Council level” but no issues had yet been highlighted.