Parking bays on Esplanade - a solution for town centre?

KIRKCALDY Neil Crooks on the Esplanade with Bill Harvey, Cllr Pat Callaghan & Cllr Stuart MacPhail

KIRKCALDY Neil Crooks on the Esplanade with Bill Harvey, Cllr Pat Callaghan & Cllr Stuart MacPhail

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PROPOSALS to have car parking bays marked on Kirkcaldy’s Esplanade have been put forward for consideration.

The suggestion to mark bays on the inside lane of the prom road comes from Kirkcaldy North councillor and chairman of the local area committee, Neil Crooks.

He has come up with the idea as something he feels could easily be done - and could be a step towards achieving the vision for the waterfront which is on the agenda of the new Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions Group.

The initial town centre summit attended by businesses and retailers highlighted car parking as a major issue, as well as development to make more use of the Esplanade.

Cllr Crooks explained: “The dual carriageway on the Esplanade acts as a barrier between the town centre and the waterfront.

“Part of the ambition for the group in the town centre is to bring that whole area alive and we need people for that to happen.

“A high profile, low cost initiative is creating parking bays on the near side lanes of that dual carriageway.

“We could create the bays all the way along the waterfront between Nicol Street and the harbour, providing an opportunity for people to stop and then circulate as pedestrians.”

The proposal comes as work started on the £9 million project to redevelop the Lang Toun’s sea wall, and ties in with future development of the waterfront, which includes new street lighting and street furniture, as well asthe idea of having small business opportunities there.

Cllr Crooks continued: “I have met with Councillor Pat Callaghan and senior staff from transportation, and the initial steps for doing this have been concluded. We’re now on to the next steps of sourcing some finance for a feasibility study.

“Parking in the town centre is on the agenda of Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions which meets today (Thursday) and it is planned to form a small working group to drive the whole parking project to some conclusions.

“Introducing parking bays on the Esplanade dual carriageway will be a start to make the waterfront a destination rather than a thoroughfare and we will consider the hundreds of ideas gathered from the public a couple of years ago on how best to utilise the space on the waterfront.

“We need to have a plan in place for the conclusion of the sea wall project and we all know how long it takes to get Traffic Regulations and planning permissions so starting now is the right time.”