TEN new disabled parking bays are to be provided at either end of the town centre’s pedestrian zone to help disabled shoppers.
The move comes after Blue Badge holders were banned while improvements works were carried out - sparking a huge debate in the town.
Councillors on the Kirkcaldy area committee agreed to the new parking bays at a meeting last week - but disabled cars will still be able to park in the pedestrianised zone.
A traffic regulation order will be implemented to make the changes which will also create a dedicated loading area in Tolbooth Street for businesses in the High Street.
The committee was told the regeneration project looked at access to the High Street once work was complete, and the provision of the 10 disabled parking spaces would be in line with the upgrade works.
Under the new arrangements, five disabled bays will be provided at the west end of the High Street outside Nevisport and the Cheque Centre.
There will be three more spaces at the bottom of Whytescauseway, and two on the High Street at the bottom of Kirk Wynd.
The traffic order will also see a loading bay provided between High Street and Charlotte Street.
Councillor Alice Soper,committee chairman, said: “There has been a lot of discussion about the best way to enable Blue Badge holders to access the High Street and this is a significant step forward.
“The new dedicated disabled spaces and loading bay will make the High Street safer and more accessible for everyone, giving local businesses a welcome boost.”
Jack Carr, deputy chairman of Fife Independent Disability Network, said: “It is good news that Fife Council is at last replacing the disabled parking places which it removed some time ago at the bottom of Kirk Wynd during pavement widening.
“The narrowing of Kirk Wynd itself has been a problem too as it is now not wide enough to allow blue badge holder parking on double yellow lines there, thus restricting disabled access to that end of the pedestrianised High Street.
“The eight new ones at the bottom of Whytescauseway will be very welcome as this has always been a difficult area for Blue Badge holders. A lot of course depends on the marking and regulation of them.”
In October the area was re-opened to disabled drivers from 5.00 p.m until noon every day and all day Tuesday.