Streets ahead and making a difference

KIRKCALDY;'TEMPLEHALL'photo; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'TEMPLEHALL'photo; WALTER NEILSON
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RESIDENTS in Kirkcaldy are about to take the reins in making their neighbourhoods more liveable - by re-designing their own streets.

The ambitious project is being co-ordinated by Fife Council and charity Sustrans Scotland.

Along with the Council, Sustrans is embarking on a community project to help local people tackle issues affecting their streets.

And the project is already working in Templehall.

The aim of the scheme is to get people more involved in their communities.

Local residents will be looking at the problems they feel exist in their neighbourhoods - from speeding traffic, rubbish dumping to social isolation, lack of green space to rat-running.

And they will be asked to help re-design their streets to help solve these problems.

By enabling locals to take the reins in the change they want to see, Sustrans Scotland is hoping to show that people can really make a difference to their own streets.

Mark Chalmers, project officer for the Street Design project, explained: “Creating a better neighbourhood outside our front doors is something everyone cares about.

Positive role

‘‘It’s going to be great to work with local people who really know what they want from their community.

“I’ve already begun to meet people in the Templehall area, and their concerns range from badly-parked cars to under-used green spaces.

“We look forward to helping them make a real difference to their street.”

The project’s initial design stage will run until August, and it is planned that construction will begin shortly after that.

This is one of two street design projects being launched by Sustrans, the other being in Elgin.

Fife Council is also working with Sustrans Scotland on a town wide-initiative to improve walking, cycling and public transport in Kirkcaldy.

Vibrant community

Ian Smith, traffic management lead officer, is supporting the plans.

He said: “Working with local people to help develop vibrant streets will challenge the traditional approach to street design and help make our residential roads cater more for people than for cars.

“The Templehall area of Kirkcaldy is already benefiting socially and environmentally from the good work that local groups are doing as part of the national ‘Equally Well’ initiative and by focusing this street design project here we can tap into this energy and enthusiasm.”

For more information, log on to www.sustrans.org.uk.