Provide more parking for cars or maintain a home for biodiversity? This is the question being put to the public by a Burntisland councillor.
Kathleen Leslie is seeking the views of local residents on whether more parking should be created at Burntisland railway station.
She explained: “In January, a feasibility study was launched to examine the need for increased parking provision at the railway station. The land is owned by Network Rail with any proposed car park to sit adjacent to the Platform Studios.”
Concerns about parking have raised debate in the town recently, with the annual Highland Games and the shows, resulting in calls for more parking.
However Cllr Leslie is asking if an increase in summer visitors justifies spending large sums of money on a new car park and removing an area of natural beauty.
“The Games and shows are fantastic and benefit local businesses and residents. To demand further car parks though seems slightly archaic,” she said.
“There is a train station, bus routes and most streets in the town are within walking distance. More creative management of the available parking is perhaps what’s needed rather than ploughing in with plans that threaten local wildlife habitats. The area attracts migrating birds, rare insects and butterflies and importantly, bees.
“There are also small businesses at the Platform Studios which appear to have been overlooked in the study. Artists there say the space is very inspiring, something a tarmacked car park would fail to do.
“I very much want increased accessibility at the station and fully support disabled parking bays. However, is a large car park really essential to railway users on a day to day basis? Should the Council be spending money on this when we are all being encouraged to reduce our usage of cars? Is it not right that a haven for flora and fauna be preserved?”
She is asking for views before a meeting of councillors at the end of the month to discuss the study.