Residents fear u-turn on Glenrothes bollard decision

Fredrick Robb and Cllr Bill Brown
Fredrick Robb and Cllr Bill Brown

Residents in Glenrothes street are claiming that Fife Council is about to reverse its own decision to remove a bollard blocking access to their homes.

Folk living in Ravenswood Drive in Caskieberran, who signed a petition calling for the removal of a bollard - which was erected without any warning - say they were told in December by council officers that it was to be dug up due to the public outcry.

The bollard had been put in place to stop vehicles driving on what is a designated footpath following a complaint.

Residents argued that because of the unique way the precinct had been designed, the walkway offered the only access to homes.

“The situation has turned into something of a joke, a complete farce,” Fredrick Robb, a Ravenswood Drive resident told the Gazette.

“We were never consulted, but then it seemed common sense had prevailed.

“But now we are being told that because of the legal implications and liability on Fife Council it is to reverse its own decision yet again. It’s ridiculous,’’ he added.

Fife Council says it is still considering the matter and has yet to make a decision on how to proceed.

Murray Hannah, service manager, traffic management, said: “Removal of this bollard was deferred pending consideration of a number of further representations from local residents with strong counter views to those expressed in the petition.

“We are currently in dialogue with the local councillors.

‘‘We have advised the local residents via a letter drop that a final decision on what is to happen with the bollard has still to be taken and that they will be advised of this decision.”

And the issue of council liability is one that local councillors have also highlighted.

“I have massive sympathy with the residents who have contacted me complaining about this bollard being erected, but because of the concern that it is illegal to drive on foot and pathways, and if it was to be removed and someone was to be injured, the council would be held liable,” said councillor Julie Ford.

Councillor Craig Walker added: “This issue could have been completely avoided had the local residents and elected representatives been properly consulted and communicated with before the bollard was installed, lessons must be learned.”

And councillor Bill Brown, chairman of the town’s area committee warned that the council needed to get straight its policy.

“The council seems to react to individual complaints and deal with them individually without any consultation with elected members or residents ,” he said.

“We can’t have double standards where we have bollards in some areas and not in others, we need to develop a consistent approach throughout the area – then enforce it.”