Council '˜targets Kirkcaldy drivers during Links Market'
Fife Council parking attendants are targeting Kirkcaldy drivers unfairly, according to the town's MSP, after it was revealed that a huge number of fines were dished out during the Links Market.
In the week of the Links Market, a Freedom of Information request showed that while Glenrothes had no parking fines, Dunfermline had 91, and Kirkcaldy had a whopping 376 fines handed out to motorists.
Drivers who pay the fines within 14 days of the issue date only have to pay £30, but the full price is £60.
Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance says that the council is using drivers in the Langtoun as a revenue stream, as the council could be raking in as much as £22,000 over just five days.
The Links Market is a huge draw for Kirkcaldy, bringing huge numbers of visitors each year from the rest of Fife and beyond.
Mr Torrance said that targeting drivers in Kirkcaldy undermines local efforts which are being made to attract visitors to the town.
Mr Torrance said: “These figures indicate that Kirkcaldy has been unfairly targeted by Fife Council during the Links Market period.
“The volume of these fines sends a damaging message to visitors coming to the town.
“At a time when the town has the opportunity to attract visitors from all over Fife and beyond, boosting its profile and benefitting local businesses and the High Street, car drivers have been used as a revenue stream by the council.
“This approach is counterproductive to local people’s efforts to improve the town at a time when the High Street is already under pressure, and it will not encourage visitors to return.
“I regard it as unacceptable and call on the council to rethink its policy.”
Kirkcaldy has long been one of the areas where the largest number of parking fines are dished out.
In 2016, the town topped the whole of Fife, with 6,592 parking fines, which averages at about 18 penalties given each day.
When compared with the latest five day period highlighted during the Links Market, the average is more than 75 tickets per day – a rise of 316 per cent.
One of the most likely spots to be hit with a parking fine in Fife is in the Kirkcaldy High Street area.
Fife Council only took on the enforcement duties for de-criminalised parking in 2013.
The High Street has been ranked the area most likely to see drivers fined in Kirkcaldy ever year since then.
However, a council spokesman said that the dramatic increase over the Links Market period was simply due to an increase in the number of visitors to Kirkcaldy.
Councillor John Beare, Vice Convener – Economy Tourism, Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “It’s unsurprising that during a time when the number of visitors soar in Kirkcaldy because of the Links Market, that the number of parking fines increase.”
However, he added that parking restrictions are there to be obeyed.
“It’s expected people will observe the appropriate parking regulations.”