A study into the feasibility of pedestrianising a section of Market Street has started.
Councillor Brian Thomson, who instigated the debate earlier this year, has arranged for Playfair Consultancy Group to carry out the study.
The study will include a survey of businesses, shoppers and residents, examine the practicalities of pedestrianisation, and include a number of successful and unsuccessful case study examples of pedestrianisation schemes.
Online and paper-copy surveys will be open for responses from Monday and run until November 2. A link to the survey, and locations of in-town physical surveys, will be publicised in the near future. It is thought the final report will be published in December.
Cllr Thomson said: “I’m pleased to have arranged for the Playfair Consultancy Group to carry out the study and, having previously worked with the group on another local study, I’m confident that they can deliver a robust report.
“After asking earlier this year if Market Street should be pedestrianised, it’s clear from the feedback that there are a wide range of views – which can be summarised as for, against, or in support of varying types of temporary pedestrianisation or shared space – and one of the main reasons for progressing the study is to try and collate and analyse the views of different users of the town centre, on a much wider basis than has been done before.
“I would emphasise that the Fife Council currently has no plans to pedestrianise Market Street.
“Also, the study has not been commissioned by the council, no consultancy fee is being charged, and it will only be used to further inform the discussion on the matter.”
The launch of the study follows the ‘car free day’ last month, which received mixed reviews from residents and businesses. Market Street was shut to cars between Bell Street and Whyte-Melville Memorial Fountain, with a number of activities and events set up to make the most of the extra space.
Frazer Towers, who is leading the Playfair Consultancy study, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Cllr Thomson for this consultation. Whatever your views on potential changes to Market Street, we want to hear from you. This is a fantastic opportunity to inform councillors of how you would like the street to look in the future.”