Kirkcaldy town centre parking plan moves closer

Parking is a major issue in the town centre
Parking is a major issue in the town centre

Plans are now under way to finally solve the problem of parking in Kirkcaldy town centre.

Councillors will be asked to approve new regulations which would allow parking attendants to patrol the High Street pedestrianised zone.

Turning the area of the Esplanade into a car park would further bring that area together with the town centre

Bill Harvey, BID manager

It is currently not part of their beat - and the number of cars parked on it has been a major source of debate for many months.

Fife Council officers are drafting a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which would allow enforcement by parking officers to keep the zone clear for pedestrians.

They have also been tasked with creating more parking spaces on the Esplanade to replace the ones lost when Tolbooth Street was closed to build the town’s new swimming pool and leisure centre.

But Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the area committee, believes that there are wider issues surrounding parking around the town centre.

They formed the subject of a recent follow-up meeting with Kirkcaldy4All following its highly critical report on the Council’s handling of parking in Kirkcaldy.

Bill Harvey, BID manager, said: “The meeting was really positive and a step in the right direction to address the issues of parking in the town.

“Turning the area of the Esplanade into a car park would further bring that area together with the town centre.”

Cllr Crooks said: “Multi-storey car parks, charging issues, use of car parks, signage, and taxi ranks were all discussed and will influence a future report to the Council Management team and Executive Committee planned for this summer.

“There is little flexibility for our committee to decide parking charges as it is a Fife wide service, but all of our colleagues are more aware of the concentration of parking in Kirkcaldy town centre which is not replicated anywhere else in the Kingdom.”

Cllr Crooks is hopeful that the next area committee meeting will bring a clearer vision in solving the problems.

“At our meeting in April or May, we will get first sight of the feasibility study which looked at removing the central reservation on the Esplanade to create additional car parking lost when the leisure centre was built,” he said.

“The parking problems at the pool were predicted and hopefully, by removing the central reservation, it will create over 130 parking spaces.”

Enforcement of the TRO

If Council officers agree to the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), it would mean that no vehicles would be allowed to park on the pedistrianised area of Kirkcaldy High Street.

This would make the area safer for shoppers and allow easier access for disabled people along the street.

The Council would allow decriminalised parking officers to patrol the area.