Kirkcaldy town centre traders call for extended parking

Some of the traders who want parking time extended
Some of the traders who want parking time extended

Traders on Kirkcaldy’s troubled Hunter Street are united in calling for an increase in the length of time vehicles are allowed to park.

And they say that allowing drivers to park for two hours or longer would make a big difference in helping to give the street a much-needed boost.

Hunter Street

Hunter Street

With a number of hair and beauty salons, restaurants and coffee shops in the street, retailers say that doubling the length of stay from one to two hours would enable customers to have their hair cut, enjoy a meal or make an appointment without having to worry about running out of time or having to interrupt their visit by rushing out to put on another ticket.

Fife Council sent out letters to all shops and residents in the street asking for their opinion on a proposal to increase the time drivers can leave their vehicles in the metered on-street parking bays at the south end of the road from one to two hours.

And the authority’s traffic management officers have asked for the traders to respond to the suggestion by the end of the month.

“If we are to progress this amendment a report will go to the Kirkcaldy area committee in January,” said the letter.

Parking charges are currently 60 pence for up to 30 minutes and £1.10 for up to an hour.

The issue of extending parking was first raised by Antonio Citro, owner of Pane e Vino restaurant around three months ago when he wrote to officers asking them to consider allowing a longer parking period.

“Almost everyone agrees that it would make a difference and I hope the council agrees to the change as soon as possible,” he said.

“We need something done to help bring more business back to the street and customers coming here for a meal don’t like having to go out in the middle of it to put another ticket on their cars.

“We deserve a better service from the council because we pay a lot in rates and we’ve been through very challenging times.”

Allan Jackson from Greens and Beans added: “Fife Council has absolutely cremated the street. I used to pay £60 for three months parking at the Postings and that rose to £130, so I couldn’t afford to park there any more.”

Cheryl Bryson of Bryson and Hare salon, said: “For the services provided in the shops in the street two or three hours would be ideal. One hour is nowhere long enough for someone getting their hair done.”

Douglas Grant, mortgage consultant at First Mortgage, said: “One hour is not long enough for someone coming for an appointment with us, going for lunch or a hair appointment. On top of that the phone app for people to pay for parking and the ticket machine outside hasn’t been working.”

Elaine Cameron, hairdresser, said: “It’s not good for a customer to have to get up in the middle of a haircut to put on another ticket.”

Marilyn Rutherford, from Jayelle’s salon, added: “People get agitated if they’re having to keep checking the time for their parking. If you park here by the time you walk the length of the High Street you’ve run out of time.”