Shoppers in Kirkcaldy High Street described “chaotic” scenes as huge volumes of blue badge holders descended on the pedestrianised zone on Tuesday.
The worst period was between 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m., when dozens of vehicles parked nose to tail along both sides of the street and down Tolbooth Street on the one day of the week when the pedestrianised area is open to badge holders all day.
At least one bump was seen by shoppers as vehicles struggled to reverse into spaces as queues of cars waited to pass.
Pedestrians with buggies and children had to wait for gaps in the traffic to get from one side of the shops to the other, while toddlers had to be kept on a tight rein in case they ran out.
“It was complete pandemonium. I’ve never seen it as bad as this before,” said one shopper.
“I thought the rules were that blue badge holders were only supposed to park down one side of the street, but they were parked right along the whole length of both sides of the street, and some vehicles were finding it a bit tight to get past.”
A woman who works in Tolbooth House, which houses chiropody and osteopathy services, said: “We have a lot of elderly and infirm customers who need dropped off outside our door because they can’t walk far. They were struggling to get stopped because of the volume of traffic.”
Another couple who were Christmas shopping said: “It was just chaotic earlier and there wasn’t a traffic warden around. It’s only going to get worse the nearer we get to Christmas.”
A spokesman in Fife Council’s transportation department said that, because there were no yellow lines in the area for wardens to enforce, it was a police responsibility.
“When the pedestrianised area came into being, we leafletted the public asking them to park only on one side of the street, and a number of Traffic Regulation Orders are in the pipeline to set regulated access times,” he said.
Inspector Brenda Sinclair of Police Scotland’s road policing department said no complaints had been received but she would refer the matter to Kirkcaldy’s community police.