Traders at the east end of the High Street have raised serious concerns about parking restrictions and road safety in the area.
Parking there is free for up to an hour, but many traders say a number of people are flouting the rules - and not enough is being done to punish those.
Alistair Cameron, manager at ACA Sports, explained: “Footfall in our shop has dropped over the last number of months, simply because of the parking.
‘’Customers can’t get parked anywhere near us.
“The problem is the police are not interested. There are never any traffic wardens and when you ocassionaly get one, they basically tell us that they’ve got more important police work to do.”
Mr Cameron added: “People parking for an hour is ideal - it gives them time to shop in the specialist shops that are down here - that hour is just perfect. It’s a great system - it just needs to be applied.”
Mr Cameron believes some of the problem exists because Fife Police will soon hand over responsibility to Fife Council, as parking is decriminalised early next year.
Cars on pavement
“We understand the law is changing in April,” said Alistair. “But the police seem to be applying that rule already, and that’s just not right.”
Simon McCrindle, owner of HSK Music said: “They’ve taken away half the car-parking spaces in this revamp, and made it very difficult to park.
“As a store owner, I have the issues of parking and unloading, which is a problem for many.
‘‘By law, the delivery guy has to drive up on the path.
‘‘I’ve seen people coming up here with children in pushchairs, and suddenly a lorry comes up on the path towards them.”
Mr McCrindle admits that in order to retain customers who are worred about parking, he sometimes has to break the rules himself.
“We tell customers, if they’ve bought something and they want to load it in their car, just to bump it up on the kerb and we’ll load the stuff as quick as we can.
‘‘We have to make do because it’s our business.”
Finlay Fraser, owner of JS Anderson Engravers commented: “There have been problems ever since the new parking system came into place.
‘‘The Council hasn’t made the east end car friendly - it was supposed to increase footfall but I’ve had customers saying they can’t get parked.
‘‘It’s an improvement astehtically, but not practically.”
Richard Campbell, owner of A.K Campbell and Sons, highlighted a flaw in the parking layout.
‘‘The problem is, there are no marked bays so you’re only getting six cars when really you could have 10 - and no-one along here gets ticketed. The wardens just can’t police it anymore.
“When the Council changed the system, it asked everyone - the traders said 10 minutes, the residents said all day, so an hour was the compromise. Town planning is a joke - I don’t know what the solution is.”
Bill Harvey from Kirkcaldy4All said: “The issue was raised at our AGM and we have been in contact with the police and asked them to do something to enforce the restrictions.
‘‘If people are parking all day, it will be detracting from passing trade. We appreciate what the retailers are going through.”