North east Fife drivers facing misery on roads

Roadworks sign
Roadworks sign

MOTORISTS are set for six weeks of disruption when part of Fife’s main arterial route is closed next month.

The A92 will be shut around the Edenbank Bridge from September 12 while strengthening work is carried out.

But access to Ladybank from the north and Freuchie from the south will be maintained, with officials keen to stress that local businesses will be open as usual.

Drivers also face ‘long delays’ in Cupar next week during patching work on the town’s two main entrance roads.

Traffic lights will be set up on parts of South Road and Carslogie Road from Wednesday to Friday.

Both set of lights — between Ceres Road and Knox Gardens, and Drum Road and Elmwood College respectively — will be in operation from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Signs are already in place warning drivers of ‘long delays’.

Dave Smeaton, Fife Council’s lead officer for roads management north, said: “As these are traffic sensitive and strategic routes, the decision has been made to keep the work to off-peak hours to minimise disruption.”

The £0.5 million Edenbank Bridge strengthening project is set to last up to three months, although the affected stretch of the A92 will only be closed for the first six weeks, with traffic lights in operation for the final phase.

The B937 through Edentown, Charlottetown and Giffordtown will be shut at the A92 junction, but access from the A91 will still be available.

Official diversion routes are from New Inn roundabout along the A912 to Strathmiglo, then the A91 to Melville Lodges roundabout — and vice versa.

But local councillor Donald Lothian has written to contractors BEAR Scotland raising concerns about drivers using the Howe of Fife’s minor roads as ‘rat runs’ during the closure.

He said: “The impact of the A92 closure needs to be minimised and I have contacted BEAR to remind them that there will be particular anxiety in the communities of Freuchie, Falkland, Strathmiglo and Auchtermuchty at the prospect of diverted traffic for around six weeks.

“In particular I highlighted the problem that occurred during the previous A92 road closure, which was additional traffic — including HGVs — using the Shiells road between Freuchie and Ladybank, resulting in congestion, verge damage and irritation to residents living in this area.

“I have also sought to minimise the inevitable detrimental effect that the closure will have on some local businesses.”

In a letter issued to local community councils, BEAR Scotland’s bridges manager Mike Chan said routine inspections had detected that the 200-year-old bridge was suffering from water ingress defects and severe masonry deterioration.

Further inspections revealed the bridge to be substandard in load carrying capacity.

Councillor Lothian praised BEAR for agreeing to hold public meetings in affected communities and promising to do its utmost to let people know local firms are open for business during the works — including setting up a Twitter page to communicate information.

He added: “I have no doubt that the communities affected by the diversion will be concerned, but my recollection is that the traffic volumes using the diversion on the previous occasion the A92 was closed between New Inn and Edenbank Bridge were thankfully less than anticipated.”