BiFab parking solution agreed

Methil BiFab staff parking on a roundabout
Methil BiFab staff parking on a roundabout

Temporary measures to reduce speeding and parking overspill from the Energy Park on Swan Brae in Methil are to be made permanent.

The Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) was put in place in 18 months ago because of issues with BiFab staff parking their cars in residential parking areas and on both sides of the brae.

Now councillors have approved plans to make the restrictions a permanent feature.

Currently, traffic is restricted from parking on most of the south side of the brae, with the north side left open to some parking.

This will continue once the TRO is finalised, at a cost of £2300.

Fife Council believes the measures have had a posititive impact on parking in the area and has been beneficial in dealing with overspill from the energy park.

It also helped to reduce the speed of vehicles travelling up and down the brae.

However, Ian Smith, Fife Council lead professional in traffic management for mid-Fife, did recognise there is still an issue with some overspill parking for some local residents which could not be controlled by the proposed TRO.

He said: “Some of the residents wanted to see double yellow lines on both sides of the road, completely restricting parking altogether.

“However, although that would deal with the parking issue, it would have no impact on the issue of speeding cars on the road.”

Mr Smith explained to councillors that, while Fife Council had tried to engage with bosses at BiFab, discussions had not been as proactive as they had hoped and, although BiFab had built additional parking, the firm admitted it could not force staff members to use it.

Although approved by councillors, David Alexander said the council has a responsibilty to show that the energy park is open for business, and many problems could be overcome with a little bit of patience.

A spokesman for residents from Swan Court, Shepherd’s Park and Memorial Court – who have campaigned for months because of the parking issues in their area relating to the energy park – told the Mail that, while parking issues might have calmed down recently, speeding was still taking place in the area.

“The constituents have requested that calming measures be put in place as speeding is still taking place on a daily basis – I witnessed two cars speeding side-by-side – and, although we informed Mr Smith and police, nothing has been done.”

Residents have also raised safety concerns about flooding on a public footpath outside Swan Court, which is forcing locals to walk on the road.

The spokesman added that, although the situation might have calmed down because of lighter workloads at the plant, this might not always be the case: “Should Bi Fab start up again, we will be plagued with recurring problems.

“Until something serious takes place, this will not be dealt with - there’s no proactivity here.”