Too costly to switch off the lights ...

The controversial traffic lights at the Adam Smith Theatre

The controversial traffic lights at the Adam Smith Theatre

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IT’S been one year since the lights were switched on at the Adam Smith junction and they are still proving to be as unpopular among the people of Kirkcaldy.

The initial switch on last December caused uproar and confusion as huge tail backs formed.

Despite the timings of the lights being subsequently adjusted the junction remains disliked with many Langtonians finding alternate routes and rat runs to avoid having to wait - and calling for the roundabout to be put back.

Plague

Taxi driver Kevin Caldwell of Kirkcaldy Taxis put it bluntly: “Every one of us avoids them like the plague.

“If we can we’ll do a rat run along Gow Crescent or Sang Road.

“A lot of our customers are elderly and use a taxi to do a bulk shop. Every time you’re stuck at the lights it puts £1 on to the fare so it’s costing them more each time.”

The lights were installed as part of a £830,000 “green corridor” project designed to make access easier for pedestrians and cyclists going to the town centre, though many pedestrians have complained that the crossing lights change from green back to red when they are only half way across.

Stuck

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee, admits that the lights aren’t perfect but added that Kirkcaldy is “stuck with them”.

He said: “It would take something in the region of £200,000 to make alterations and that money simply doesn’t exist.

“There are 78 councillors across Fife.

“I can’t see them agreeing to spend such a large sum of money on a junction in Kirkcaldy that was put in just last year.”

Cllr Crooks expressed sympathy with residents whose streets are being used as alternative routes, but said: “I know the lights are unpopular, but I have to be realistic. Spending a six-figure sum on changing them is an argument I wouldn’t win.”