Kirkcaldy High Street west end blame game continues

The row over the delay to Kirkcaldy High Street's roadworks rumbles on with business owners and councillors expressing their dismay.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:26 pm
Roadworks at the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street (Pic by FPA)

The project began in January and was supposed to be completed by the end of July but a mistake by contractors Land Engineering in ordering the correct amount of granite means the work will now not be completed until November.

Cllr Neil Crooks said he would be “seeking honest answers” from Land Engineering’s MD.

“This is a company with an excellent reputation in the construction world so what went wrong with this project?” he said.

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Roadworks at the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street (Pic by FPA)

“I am also interested in the penalties as it has been suggested that if these were not robust enough then that may have been a cost the company felt they could carry while earning significant funds on other more lucrative contracts elsewhere.

“The important thing for me is for the company to finish all they can as quickly as possible and if there is no chance of granite becoming available until November then we need to get the west end back operational and I would look for advice on future works.

“I can hardly believe that a contract like this can run out of materials.”

Businessman Dean Melville, who owns four businesses on the High Street, said the roadworks had “a devastating effect on any passing trade for every trader in that area”.

Roadworks at the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street (Pic by FPA)

He added: “Why did local businesses not get some form of temporary rates relief?”

“I asked this question and was given a very short reply sentence of ‘I must advise there are no current relief schemes available for these sets of circumstances’.

“It clearly shows that members of our Council did not plan, nor consider, what effect these works would do to the local businesses.”

A spokesman for Fife Council said: “Businesses were contracted shortly after works commenced, giving them the opportunity to contact Fife Council advisors to ensure that they were obtaining all benefits entitled to them, to assist them through the period of disruption.

“Fife Council is not aware of any businesses taking up this offer to date.”

Work could rag on until NEXT year, it has been revealed.

Fife Council said that if work was delayed again in November, it would suspend it throughout December to allow for Christmas shopping. A spokesman, added: “We expect that all works will be completed by end of November.”

He confirmed that Land Engineering would pay a penalty for the delay but the amount was confidential and that Fife Council would incur no extra costs.