The closure of a stretch of the B923 Kinghorn Loch road from today will cause traffic congestion on an already busy road and affect businesses and organisations in the area.
These were the concerns expressed today from traders, councillors and individuals living and working around the affected site which will be closed for up to four months to allow a housebuilder to begin work on the construction of 133 houses on either side of the well-used road.
Despite a petition against the road closure, attracting around 700 signatures, Fife Council’s transportation department said it was unable to prevent the move, although it did manage to reduce the closure period from six months.
At the time Ian Jones, lead professional with the transportation department, said: “Our role is to manage and co-ordinate the activities on the road network meaning we can influence when and how they are carried out, but we can’t prevent essential works to the approved development.
“We’ve been working to reach a reasonable compromise that allows the housing development to proceed whilst minimising disruption and inconvenience to the local community, businesses and road users.”
Today the secretary of Burntisland Golf Club House, David McPherson, said members were concerned about the affect the closure would have.
“As well as members getting here, we have staff who will be affected, including the pro shop and catering side of the business coming from the Kirkcaldy side.
“They will have to come through the town and up past the school, and we are also concerned that it is going to bring more traffic past the school which is already very busy at the roundabout.
“It is early days yet as it has just been closed, but it certainly is not going to help.”
David Stockwell, general manager at The Ecology Centre, said: “The consultation process on the road closure did not feel like a particularly meaningful one to us, although we are grateful that it didn’t happen in the middle of summer.
“The closure will make it much more difficult for visitors, volunteers and those coming for meetings to get here.
“We will remain open throughtout the entire period and have done our best to mitigate agains the closure.
“Many of our visitors come on public transport and this will just add to the difficulty of getting here.
“We are also concerned about the impact it will have on the amount of traffic passing through Burntisland and Kinghorn.”
Roy Mackie, depute provost of the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council, added: “While the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council continues to welcome and support the development at the former tannery site, we are very concerned, and disappointed, at the way this road closure has been handled, both by Fife Council and Lovells.
“Our main thoughts now though are for the businesses which will be affected by this closure, who will inevitably see their turnovers fall, and for the general safety and well being of the residents and road users in Kinghorn and Burntisland, as all of the traffic is diverted through the heart of Kinghorns already congested main street and in to Burntisland through the low road,with particular concern for the Kinghorn primary school crossing.
“Fife Council Roads Department thinks some extra signage will be enough to manage the situation safely, and although we’re sceptical we hope they’re right, but we’d like to see a regular police presence in the vicinity to help with the problems that will inevitably arise.
“For now we can only hope that the scheduled works run smoothly and finish on or before the agreed timescale, and we would strongly encourage Lovells and Fife Council to work together to achieve that. We would also like to ask the general public to be patient and safe, especially drivers, and also to continue supporting the businesses affected throughout this period.”