Plans to extend the car park at Leuchars Station have been delayed as Fife Council has failed to reach an agreement on the purchase of land.
It could now take up to two years before much-needed additional parking spaces can be provided as the Council seeks to obtain the land through a compulsory purchase.
We could be looking at a delay of two years before the extension is built, which is completely unsatisfactory given that the extra spaces are needed nowCouncillor Tim Brett
The station is popular with commuters from across north east Fife and the car park is regularly full, with many drivers being hit with fines for parking outwith designated parking bays.
Tay Bridgehead councillor Tim Brett expressed his frustration at the lack of progress on the extension.
“A compulsory purchase is being arranged, which will have to be agreed by the Council’s executive committee later this month,” he said. “It could take a further 14 months to complete this, then there will be 12-14 weeks for the tendering process, and then the construction itself will take another six months.
“We could therefore be looking at a delay of two years before the extension is built, which is completely unsatisfactory given that the extra spaces are needed now.”
Fife Council has allocated funds for the car park extension and is awaiting a decision from Network Rail on a bid submitted to the Scottish Station Fund in August last year for half the cost of the project.
It has been in discussions with the land owner but has not managed to come to a successful agreement on purchase. Transportation officers are therefore proposing to use the Compulsory Purchase Order process to acquire the land required for the car park extension.
Soma Raviraj, transportation senior manager, said: “No works can begin on site until land has been purchased and the funding confirmed. This is a long, statutory process and can take over a year to complete. The tender documents for construction cannot be issued until the land has been purchased. At this time, we are unable to confirm exact timescales for completion of the construction works.”
In the meantime, the Council is encouraging motorists to consider using public transport instead of taking the car to the station.
Ms Raviraj said: “Leuchars Rail Station is served by an excellent bus service which provides both local services and links to Dundee.
“The interchange is served by Stagecoach Fife and Stagecoach Strathtay with local company Moffat and Williamson also providing a service.
“The services to Dundee include stops at both the bus and rail stations in Dundee, and three services also stop at Ninewells Hospital.”