We’ll sort it as soon as we can

5211005 SSFF new junction 'bus having to swing out wide to traverse the new junction at the Adam Smith Centre, Kirkcaldy
5211005 SSFF new junction 'bus having to swing out wide to traverse the new junction at the Adam Smith Centre, Kirkcaldy

FOR the third week in a row, Fife Council has been the subject of heavy criticism over changes to one of the town’s busiest junctions which has caused travel headaches for road users.

The new road layout at the Adam Smith Theatre, which has seen single lanes and traffic lights installed, have sparked frustration for motorists facing huge tailbacks since the signals were switched on in the week running up to Christmas.

Speaking to the Press, the Council’s transport boss confirmed he hoped a solution to the problem will be found by the end of the week, or beginning of next week.

A private consultant has been drafted in at a costs of up to £2000 to assess the situation and come up with solutions.

Difficulties

Bob McLellan told the Press: “There are difficulties and we have got to overcome them.

“We accept that and are not hiding from it.

“The current situation needs to be improved to allow us to see it is operating in the manner envisaged.

“As of Tuesday morning we have engaged with a private sector consultant to have a video camera over the junction to monitor the vehicular movements and pedestrian movements, to get the complete picture.

“You and others may ask why wasn’t that done beforehand?

“Obviously we didn’t have the signals there before so it was difficult to predict per say but we’re seeing the real live traffic situation now.

“The schools are back and people are back in their routines after the holidays so we’re going to get the most meaningful results now and see the junction at its busiest.

“We expect to have all the video evidence by the end of the week or beginning of next week, and from that we can detect the optimal cycle time for live traffic using the junction.

“There was no delay for traffic before, so any kind of delay is noticed.

“We’re never going to get into that situation as we’re providing a better environment for pedestrians crossing, but it’s about a balance and not having unreasonable delays for traffic.”

Mr McLellan confirmed the cost for the private consultant and video surveillance on the junction was between £1000 and £2000.

The current sequence of traffic lights at the junction has five phases - one for each of the four directions and a fifth phase allowing pedestrians to cross.

Timings

“We think adjusting the timings will make things better and we’re looking at reducing the number of phases of the lights,” Mr McLellan explained.

“By the end of this week we should be in a position to re-programme the signals.

“We genuinely believe what we’re doing with the real live traffic and videoing will allow us to make the changes needed.

“In the event that for whatever reason we make the (timing) changes and it doesn’t provide a satisfactory resolution we will make whatever changes are needed to rectify the junction as soon as we can.”

The transport chief again re-iterated his comments from last week asking the public to “bear with us” while adjustments are made.

He added: “We know we need to come up with the goods quickly and we are fully and acutely aware of the public concern raised so far.

“We’re looking to resolve things as soon as possible.”